The Upper East Side woman dubbed the Mommy Madam for allegations she ran a high-cost escort agency is set to go to court in October, a judge said on Thursday, and unlike her co-defendant, she can't take a plea deal because it would mean she could be deported. Gristina's co-defendant, Jaynie Mae Baker, reportedly copped a plea deal on Tuesday, taking a misdemeanor charge and no jail time after she had been accused of booking prostitution appointments for Gristina's high-class clients. But Gristina can't do that "because of the risk that she could be deported to her native Scotland for admitting to a crime of moral turpitude," her lawer, Norman Pattis, told Reuters' Joseph Ax. On the plus side for Gristina, who is charged with one count of promoting prostitution, the judge promised a "very short case" over the course of a week, the New York Post reported.
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That's got to be a disappointment for prosecutors, who have spent five years investigating Gristina's alleged prostitution ring, as well as the New York Post, which has been covering her story like a tablecloth since she was pulled "screaming off a Midtown street in February," as reporters Laura Italiano and Jane MacIntosh described her arrest in their 800-word story on her trial Thursday. Prosecutors "said today that they may want to introduce wiretaps and witness testimony showing that Gristina was running a business extending beyond the single, undercover-sting-based count of money for sex currently alleged," the Post reporters wrote, but the judge put the kibosh on that, saying "this is a very narrow issue." That means we probably won't get to hear the details of her "black book" of clients, suggested so tantalizingly, and vaguely, in court papers in June. Talk about ending with a wimper. Still, things could change between now and Oct. 2. We're crossing our fingers we'll get to hear the details of that black book yet.