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2nd woman in Manhattan madam case pleads not guilty, makes $100,000 bail
NEW YORK (AP) ' A matchmaking recruiter charged with helping to run a big-money brothel turned herself in Tuesday to face charges ' and a growing media frenzy surrounding the case.
Dozens of reporters and photographers crowded a courtroom for Jaynie Mae Baker's arraignment and trailed her as she left court on $100,000 bond.
The 30-year-old Baker held her head high as she pleaded not guilty to the sole charge against her and reputed Scottish-born madam Anna Gristina: a low-level felony count of promoting prostitution.
Prosecutors say the investigation is continuing, and they have suggested there could be more to the case. They've said that Gristina, a 44-year-old suburban mother accused of providing prostitutes to power brokers, was heard during a five-year investigation claiming she had contacts in law enforcement.
The case has all but monopolized the city's tabloid newspapers since news of Gristina's arrest broke last month. Gristina also has pleaded not guilty; her lawyers say she was simply starting a high-end, legal dating service.
Baker's whereabouts, meanwhile, had been unknown. She was on vacation in Mexico, defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb said Tuesday.
After friends told Baker last week that reporters were massed outside her apartment, she called Gottlieb and he contacted prosecutors on Friday to say she would surrender, he said.
"There was never any question of her coming back to face these charges," Gottlieb said after court.
He would not discuss whether Baker knows Gristina.
Baker was listed until recently as a recruiter for high-end matchmaking service VIP Life, but founder Lisa Clampitt said Baker was a freelancer who never ended up referring a client or getting paid during the six months she was associated with the service.
Gottlieb said "there is nothing sordid, nothing illegal" in Baker's work, and her life outside it includes an extensive list of charitable projects, from working in New York soup kitchens to going to India to help get clothing to the poor.
But prosecutors painted another picture.
"We have had numerous informants over the years who have, at times, discussed Ms. Baker's role in the (prostitution) operation," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan said in court on Tuesday.
Still, prosecutors agreed to her $100,000 bond, a sharp contrast from the $2 million bond that has kept Gristina at the city's Rikers Island jail since her arraignment last month.
Prosecutors have said Gristina, who remains a British citizen, had said she would flee if she got in trouble and may have money stashed away to do so.
If convicted, Gristina and Baker each could face up to seven years in prison.
Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela contributed to this report.
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