In brief: Akin still in race after rape comment


Jefferson City, Mo. – Embattled GOP Rep. Todd Akin has made good on his promise to stay in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race despite calls by top Republicans to quit following his comments about rape.

The final deadline for candidates to remove their names from the Missouri ballot passed Tuesday as Akin began a statewide bus tour. Akin is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Akin has repeatedly apologized since saying during an August television interview that women’s bodies can avert pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.”

Top Republicans, including Mitt Romney, have urged him to drop out. He’s also lost backing from the national GOP.

But late Tuesday, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who’d called on Akin to quit last month, reversed himself, saying he and Akin agreed “the Senate majority must change.”

Lurid madam case ends with whimper

New York – A prostitution case that evolved into a sensational tale of a suburban mother moonlighting as a high-end Manhattan madam ended Tuesday with a guilty plea sparing her further jail time, but not without some parting shots by prosecutors and the judge suggesting the hype was of her own making.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan accused Anna Gristina of making empty boasts – picked up by surveillance before her arrest – that she had connections in the FBI, New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies that would tip her off when needed.

“We have no evidence to support any of these claims,” Linehan said in state court. “(Gristina) ran a brothel for many years – that is all.”

Judge Juan Merchan also scolded Gristina for drawing needless attention to herself, including bringing her young son Nicholas to court on Tuesday amid a throng of news cameras.

“I can’t see the benefit of exposing him to this,” Merchan said.

Gristina and her lawyer left court without speaking to reporters.

The 45-year-old native of Scotland pleaded guilty to a single count of promoting prostitution, stemming from a July 2011 tryst that authorities say she arranged involving two women and an undercover officer posing as a client named Anthony.

The prostitution charge carried a possible sentence of 2 1/3 to seven years in prison. But the judge said he would give her only six months – an amount already covered by the time served before her release on bail in June.


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