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Atty: Accused NYC madam was starting dating biz

Attorney: Accused NYC madam a loving mom who was starting legitimate dating service By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' A lawyer for a suburban mother of four charged with running a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring in Manhattan says she was working on building an online dating service.

Anna Gristina, of Monroe, was briefly in court Tuesday in her prostitution case. She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the 44-year-old Gristina said she made millions of dollars from arranging trysts and claimed she had law-enforcement connections who'd let her know if charges loomed. Police have declined to comment.

But defense lawyer Peter Gleason said after court that Gristina was "a loving, caring mother" who was setting up a legitimate dating business.

Private investigator Vincent Parco says Gristina hired him because she wanted to make sure potential members didn't have criminal backgrounds.

Gristina is being held on $2 million bond.

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