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Sex-for-tix case going to trial

January date set in Common Pleas Court, Doylestown

Susan Finkelstein sat down with undercover Officer Michael Brady at a Bucks County bar and allegedly gave him a bold confession for a first meeting, according to his testimony yesterday at her preliminary hearing.

"I admit it. I'm a prostitute. I love sex. I'm a whore," the Bensalem police officer testified that Finkelstein had told him as he posed as "Bob" at Manny Brown's in Bensalem.

She talked about "how much she loved anal sex," he said, alleging later that she pulled up her denim skirt to expose her genital area and asked, "You wanna touch it?"

The Southwest Philadelphia woman believed Brady had three tickets to a Phillies-Yankees World Series game and, Bensalem police say, was willing to exchange sex for at least one.

In reality, it was a sting operation by Bensalem cops, who had found the "desperate blonde," as Finkelstein reportedly called herself, while trolling Craigslist for illegal activities.

Finkelstein, 43, was also told in an e-mail written by Sgt. Robert Bugsch that "Bob" had a brother, Bugsch said on the stand. That apparently upped the possibilities for Finkelstein.

For two tickets, she promised more, Brady testified. "I'll have sex with both of you. I'll let you DP me."

Magisterial District Judge Joe Falcone and Finkelstein's lawyer, William J. Brennan, asked Brady to clarify what the term "DP" meant and the officer answered, "Double penetration."

Brady's and Bugsch's testimony - along with the introduction of topless photos as evidence, images Finkelstein purportedly sent to Bugsch before the meeting - was apparently enough for Falcone. He held the case over for trial in Common Pleas Court, set to begin Jan. 5 in Doylestown.

She was charged with promoting prostitution and, yesterday, with general prostitution.

Brennan suggested he may appeal the ruling, claiming that Falcone's decision was based on "unsubstantiated, unrecorded testimony of one officer," he said, referring mainly to Brady's testimony.

Finkelstein, a woman with a self-avowed "big mouth," spoke with the swarm of media after the hearing, despite Brennan's assurances that she would not comment on the proceedings.

"It was very hard to hear the untruths that were said about me and my actions without being able to respond," she said in a soft, melodic voice. Later, she said, "It is not in my vocabulary to use those words."

Earlier, when Brady used the term "whore" in court, Finkelstein let out a sigh of disbelief.

After the hearing, Brennan wondered aloud why Bensalem police didn't record the conversation or why three other police at the bar weren't close enough to listen in on the conversation.

Regarding the topless photos, Brennan said, the police officers admitted that sending them was not illegal.

"She's here charged with a crime," he said. "The crime isn't bad taste. The crime is prostitution."