Local/State

Jury returns split verdict in sex-for-tickets case

Friday, March 26, 2010

A jury returned a split verdict Thursday in the case of a woman accused of offering sex for World Series tickets.

Susan Finkelstein has been found not guilty of prostitution, but guilty of attempted prostitution.

The jury returned with that verdict shortly before 6:00 p.m. after more than three hours of deliberations.

Finkelstein took the stand in her own defense earlier Thursday. She appeared composed as she told the court "I am not a prostitute."

A jury of seven women and five men heard the case in Doylestown.

"There's a lot of processing going over the next few days, kind of a relief, there's also a lot of anger," Susan Finkelstein told reporters after the verdict was announced.

Five months after her very public ordeal began, she emerged from the Bucks County courtroom smiling, but unsatisfied, as was her husband.

"Attempted prostitution seems a little bit like attempted speeding or attempted jaywalking," Finkelstein's husband Jack LaVoy said.

Finkelstein, a self described rabid Phillies fan, was accused of offering an undercover police officer sexual favors in return for World Series tickets.

"I think justice was served. I think the jury came to an appropriate decision after looking at all the facts and using their common sense. The facts were pretty straightforward," Assistant District Attorney Steven Jones said.

Prosecutors called the case cut and dry, citing what they said was overwhelming evidence of her sexual intentions. The evidence included the ad, e-mail exchanges with near nude photos of Finkelstein, and a condom in her purse during the meeting at which they deal went down.

Her lawyer, William Brennan, says, despite the verdict, it all adds up to nothing.

"It's 2010, it's not a crime to have a condom in your purse; it's not a crime to flirt," Brennan said.

"I wonder what this verdict means for women in general who might be going on dates and exchanging any kind of romantic relations for objects or events or trips or tickets, so I hope it doesn't have ramifications for other women in the future," Finkelstein said.

Finkelstein's attorney says he had already filed a motion for a mistrial, claiming the prosecutor acted improperly.

Finkelstein faces up to a year in prison.

Her husband, meanwhile, says he's not ashamed of what his wife did and called her admitted flirtation acceptable behavior from the woman he still loves.

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prostitution, philadelphia phillies, craigslist, pennsylvania, philadelphia, local/state
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