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Alleged co-conspirator of accused Manhattan madam pleads not guilty

By Michael Teng, CNN
updated 6:31 PM EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Anna Gristina sits next to attorney Peter Gleason in the State Supreme Court in New York City on Monday.
Anna Gristina sits next to attorney Peter Gleason in the State Supreme Court in New York City on Monday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Suspected co-conspirator in alleged multimillion-dollar prostitution ring enters plea
  • Jaynie Baker turned herself in to authorities upon her return from a Mexico vacation
  • She was released after posting $100,000 bail and surrendering her passport
  • Alleged co-conspirator Anna Gristina is accused of running a high-priced escort service

(CNN) -- Jaynie Baker, the suspected co-conspirator in an alleged multimillion-dollar prostitution ring run out of a Manhattan apartment, pleaded not guilty Tuesday after turning herself in to authorities upon her return from a Mexico vacation.

Baker, 30, has been charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree. She was released after posting $100,000 bail and surrendering her passport.

Her attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said Baker was vacationing in Cabo San Lucas and was recently alerted to the case by her friends and had not been avoiding authorities.

Baker flew back Saturday and had planned to turn herself in on Monday, Gottlieb said, but had been advised to postpone the move until the next day.

Her alleged co-conspirator, Anna Gristina, has been accused of running a high-priced escort service for high-powered clientele across New York, according to court documents.

Gristina, 44, was arrested on February 22 and has also been charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree. She is suspected of running the ring out of an Upper East Side apartment.

A week ago, a New York judge denied a request to reduce Gristina's bail.

That same day, a Morgan Stanley broker was placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation into Gristina, according to company spokesman Mark Lake.

Prosecutors say Gristina was with the broker in his Manhattan office shortly before her arrest. They say the two were there to discuss the creation of a website that arranges illicit encounters.

The broker, whom CNN is not naming because he has not been charged with a crime, said they were in talks to create a website for a legitimate dating service.

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