The World Series is long over, but this afternoon, the legal case against a Phillies fan who allegedly offered sex for Series tickets was just going into its second inning.
Susan Finkelstein, 43, of West Philadelphia, was accused in late October of offering an undercover police officer various sex acts in return for World Series tickets.
Finkelstein was ordered held for trial today by a Bucks County judge after a preliminary hearing in which she was charged with prostitution and promoting prostitution.
Conservatively dressed in a dark gray jacket and skirt, the self-described "tall buxom blonde" sat stonefaced as two police officers went into often-graphic detail of what she had offered for the tickets.
In late October, Finkelstein placed an ad on the Web site Craigslist that caught the the attention of Bensalem's special investigations unit:
"DESPERATE BLONDE NEEDS WS TIX. Diehard Phillies - gorgeous tall buxom blond - in desperate need of two World Series Tickets. Price negotiable - I'm the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!"
In multiple interviews, Finkelstein has said she was not offering sex.
Sgt. Richard Bugsch testified before District Judge Joseph Falcone yesterday that he contacted Finkelstein Oct. 26 after spotting her post while trolling the Web site looking for illegal activities. He found Finkelstein's posting by putting the word "blonde" in the site's search engine, he said.
Bugsch said he e-mailed Finkelstein to say that he had three tickets, but he would need to see her photo first.
She sent him three topless pictures, which were introduced into evidence yesterday.
"I asked her what she wanted to pay for the tickets," Bugsch said. "She responded, 'My currency is, well, let's just say, unconventional.' She said the price was mine to name."
He said that he had three tickets on the 100 level, on the third-base side of Citizens Bank Park, for one of the home games. Bugsch, who identified himself as "Bob," told her to wear something sexy to the arranged meeting place - Manny Brown's Bar and Grill at the Neshaminy Mall - and said he would wear a Penn State jacket, Bugsch testified.
She arrived at Manny Brown's at 7:30 that night and walked up to a man sitting at the bar. Officer Michael Brady was in plain clothes and wearing the Penn State jacket. She asked if his name was Bob. He said "yes."
Three more undercover officers, including Bugsch, sat at a table about 15 feet away, Brady said.
Brady testified that Finkelstein said she was married but in a very open relationship and that her husband knew she was a prostitute but didn't care.
Finkelstein continued, Brady said, telling him, "I'm a whore. I love sex. I just can't help it."
At one point, Brady testified, Finkelstein pulled up her denim skirt, allowing him to see that she was not wearing underwear.
Shortly after, Brady gave the signal to arrest her.
After Brady's testimony, Finkelstein's attorney, William J. Brennan, said that his client had done nothing criminal because there was no physical interaction and nothing of value had been exchanged.
He and Finkelstein faced a crush of reporters and cameras after the hearing outside the court building.
"I take strong issue with the allegations, that [Brady] stated twice, that she said she was a prostitute and a whore," Brennan said. He added that Finkelstein's sending photos violated no laws. As for what happened at the bar, he said it was "the unsubstantiated word of one police officer."
Finkelstein, who did not testify yesterday, said that four days after her arrest, she was fired from her job at Penn's Wister Institute, where she worked as a publicist.
Sitting through the hearing had been "very frustrating," she said.
"I'm a person who has a big mouth, and it was hard to hear the untruths said about me," she said.