Alleged NYC madam's co-defendant surrenders

March 13, 2012 4:13:22 PM PDT
The alleged co-defendant in the case against the so-called "Millionaire Madam" surrendered to police Tuesday.

Jaynie Baker is accused along with multimillion-dollar madam Anna Gristina, who was arrested last month and has pleaded not guilty. Defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb says Baker turned herself in Tuesday.

Gottlieb says the 30-year-old Baker was vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when news of the case broke last week. He says she contacted him Thursday, flew back Saturday and had been prepared to turn herself in Monday.

Baker was listed until recently as a recruiter for high-end matchmaking service VIP Life. Founder Lisa Clampitt says Baker was a freelancer who never ended up referring a client.

Meanwhile, Gristina's lawyer is offering his $2.5 million loft as security for her $2 million bail.

He says Gristina and her family could move into the loft, where she could be under house arrest and monitored electronically.

"I really have a fundamental belief in justice, and I despise what I perceive as someone being bullied," lawyer Peter J. Gleason said outside court, where a judge set a hearing for Thursday on the unusual bail plan. "I want them to move in with me."

Prosecutors oppose the bail request, saying it raises ethical questions.

"There is serious concern (about) having a lawyer put up any sort of bail, much less his home," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan told the court.

State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan said he wasn't convinced there was an ethics problem but wanted to research the issue further.

Accused of running a high-priced prostitution service for 15 years and boasting of having law-enforcement connections, the Scottish-born Gristina has pleaded not guilty to promoting prostitution. Prosecutors say the 44-year-old mother of four and pig rescuer from Monroe, N.Y., was heard during their five-year investigation saying she'd made millions of dollars.

Gleason, however, said Monday she doesn't have "two nickels to rub together." She was trying to start a legitimate dating service, he says.

The case has been splashed across the front pages of the city's tabloid newspapers for days, and Gleason has become the public face of her defense. Working for her for free, he has spoken to gaggles of reporters outside the courthouse and gone on morning television shows to counter the allegations against her.

His role has engendered questions from the judge - who prompted Gleason to acknowledge in court Monday that he has never tried a felony case - and tensions with her court-appointed lawyer, Richard Siracusa. Siracusa, a veteran defense lawyer, was put on the case before Gleason got involved at the behest of a Gristina family friend.

Gleason told the judge Monday that Gristina wanted Siracusa off the case - and, moreover, wanted the highly unusual privilege of picking a taxpayer-paid replacement. Judges sometimes will replace an appointed lawyer if the attorney and defendant can't get along, but the defendant doesn't generally get to choose the new attorney.

"She's an intelligent, stoic, strong-willed person who has very, very sound ideas on the type of person she wants to represent her," Gleason said.

He said Siracusa hadn't visited her in jail and hadn't told her in advance about a court hearing last week that was conducted without her, among other complaints.

Siracusa, on the other hand, said Gleason had "been nothing but a hindrance to me."

After a short court break, however, Siracusa said he had consulted with Gristina and believed they could resolve their differences.

Wearing a black-and-white herringbone sweater and her bobbed, honey-blond hair in waves, Gristina watched keenly but said little during the proceedings, besides briefly assuring the judge she understood his remarks.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article)

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