No dismissal for woman in sex-for-tickets case

Susan Finkelstein of Phila., charged with prostitution for Phillies tickets.
Susan Finkelstein of Phila., charged with prostitution for Phillies tickets.
Posted: January 30, 2010

Susan Finkelstein has never denied certain things.

Such as placing a suggestive ad seeking World Series tickets. Or sending topless photos to a man who answered that ad. Or having a ribald back-and-forth at a Bensalem bar when it came time to set the "price."

Even if Finkelstein intended to trade sex for tickets - which she denies - that wouldn't make her a prostitute, her lawyer argued yesterday in Bucks County Court.

"You can be a slut; that's not illegal," attorney William J. Brennan said, comparing it to someone "who buys a woman a cosmopolitan and then has sex."

He asked Judge Albert J. Cepparulo to dismiss prostitution charges against Finkelstein because she was not "in the business of prostitution."

Cepparulo declined, saying there were ample grounds to try the self-advertised "buxom blonde" accused of offering sex for Phillies-Yankees World Series tickets. Her trial is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Prosecutors did, however, withdraw a more serious charge of promoting prostitution, saying the lesser charges - prostitution and criminal attempt - better match the accusations against her.

"We're certainly headed in the right direction," Brennan said afterward.

Finkelstein was not in court. Brennan said she "had other business to attend to." Her Facebook page said she was in Cozumel, Mexico.

In October, she placed a Craigslist ad, calling herself a "gorgeous tall buxom blonde" in "desperate need" of tickets. "Price negotiable - I'm the creative type!"

Bensalem Township police answered the ad, dangling three tickets and asking for her photo. She sent three topless shots.

A meeting was arranged at the bar of a Bensalem restaurant. A plainclothes officer negotiated with Finkelstein while three other officers waited nearby.

At a preliminary hearing in December, Officer Michael Brady said Finkelstein had described herself as a prostitute, exposed herself, and offered sex for tickets. Finkelstein has said she was merely flirting in hope of a price break.

Brennan contends that no laws were broken, no sex occurred, and nothing of value was traded. He said: "We are going to fight this case to the finish."


Contact staff writer Larry King at 215-345-0446 or lking@phillynews.com.

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