Madam Mom in Manhattan Isn't a Danger to Society

woman with cash tucked into her garter beltLooks like the Heidi Fleiss scandal couldn't quash prostitution! The latest alleged high-profile madam to be charged and thrown into the national spotlight appears to be on Manhattan "soccer mom" Anna Gristina. The mother of four reportedly made millions over the past 15 years off of her Upper East Side brothel, and sources say her "black book" included powerful politicians, top law enforcement, influential lawyers, bankers, entertainment execs, and Fortune 500 businessmen. Today, she's due in court on a charge of promoting prostitution. And oh yeah, she's pleading not guilty.

Gristina has been investigated for five years, and prosecutors say they have 50 or more hours of video and audio recordings in the case. One of the biggest offenses seems to be that prosecutors claim Gristina had minors working for her. Definitely bad news there. Still, for law enforcement to have whittled away years on her? It feels like a complete waste of time.


A five-year investigation seems more befitting of a drug cartel or organized crime -- not the world's oldest profession. Why is the government so worried about adults having consensual sex -- even if money exchanges hands, as long as no one is getting hurt? It happens all the time in Nevada legally, in a regulated way, and everyone seems perfectly happy with that set up.

As for Gristina, it seems too soon to say if her operation was actually harming anyone. Aside from the possible involvement of minors, which is certainly troubling, she's been taken to task for bragging that she has "connections in law enforcement who are poised to help her out, to let her know if there is trouble on the front that she needs to be concerned about," Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan said, according to a court transcript. If what she said was true, then shouldn't her supposed connections be charged, as well? Sure hope they're working on that, because crooked cops sound like an even bigger problem than a prostitution ring to me! In fact, the city of NYC and the country in general certainly has bigger, more dangerous fish to fry than this.

What's more, it's nearly impossible to come up with a legit argument against legalizing and regulating prostitution. There are so many pros, like ... if brothels were properly licensed, the worst aspects of the sex trade (like child prostitution, trafficking, etc.) could be tackled head-on. Nonetheless, I'm sure legal prostitution here in America will never happen in a million years. C'est la vie.

In the meantime, does law enforcement really need to be going after an Upper East Side brothel so aggressively? Treating madams like Anna Gristina as though they may be dangerous criminals? I sure don't think so.   

Do you?

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