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Second N.Y. Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Prostitution Case

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from www.bloomberg.com – A second woman, Jaynie Baker, was charged with promoting prostitution, joining Anna Gristina, whom prosecutors accuse of running a New York brothel that catered to high-net-worth clients.

Baker, 30, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment today in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on one count of promoting prostitution. Justice Juan Merchan set bail at $100,000.

Gristina, a British subject, is a legal permanent resident of the U.S. and has pleaded not guilty. The Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation included “at least one eyewitness account” of a sexual encounter arranged by Gristina in which minors were involved, Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan told Merchan on Feb. 23, a day after her arrest, according to a court transcript.

Gristina has business contacts worldwide, made millions of dollars and counts “many” affluent people as friends and clients, prosecutors said, according to the transcript.

Earlier this week, Merchan ruled that Gristina can have free legal counsel. He will decide later this week whether Peter Gleason, a second lawyer and friend who has also been advising her, can use his $2.5 million Tribeca apartment to guarantee her bail, set at a $2 million bond or $1 million in cash.
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At the time of her arrest, Gristina was in the office of “a Morgan Stanley (MS) banker who she counts as a close friend,” Linehan said. The Morgan Stanley employee is David Spencer Walker, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Gristina was at Walker’s office “for a meeting in which she was trying to solicit money to fund what we believe is another illicit business venture on the Internet that involves matching up male clients with female prostitutes,” said Linehan, of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s official corruption unit.

Prosecutors haven’t accused Walker of wrongdoing or identified him publicly. He works for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the firm’s retail brokerage, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because Walker wasn’t named in the case.

Walker has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Jim Wiggins, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, has said previously.

The case is People v. Gristina, 12-00751, New York State Supreme Court (338265L), New York County (Manhattan).

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