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Woman's Sex-for-Phillies-Tickets Conviction Overturned on Appeal

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on December 22, 2011 5:46 AM

A Pennsylvania woman convicted in a sex-for-Phillies-tickets sting operation has scored big-time in court. An appeals court overturned her conviction in a prostitution case that drew worldwide notoriety.

Susan Finkelstein, 45, admits she tried to use her flirtatious nature to score tickets to a Phillies-Yankees World Series game in 2009, USA Today reports. Finkelstein posted a classified ad on Craigslist, calling herself a "gorgeous tall buxom blonde" and adding, "Price negotiable."

When undercover police answered the ad, Finkelstein replied by sending three topless photos of herself, according to USA Today. She then arranged a meeting and offered sex for Phillies tickets -- for herself and her husband.

Finkelstein was charged with prostitution and attempted prostitution. A jury in 2010 rejected the prostitution charge, but convicted Finkelstein of attempt.

Susan Finkelstein served a year of probation and 100 hours of community service for her misdemeanor conviction. She also lost her job at a Philadelphia cancer-research facility.

But an appeals court overturned Finkelstein's sex-for-Phillies-tickets conviction Tuesday. "[A]s she was acquitted of prostitution, she may not be convicted of attempt," the court's ruling states, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Finkelstein's lawyer put it in more vulgar terms for the Burlington County Times: "I had said it's not illegal to be a slut. And that's kind of what the court is saying."

The appeals court's ruling also stated that the crime of attempted prostitution was designed to prevent commercial prostitution, the Times reports. Because Finkelstein was "not generally engaged in commercial activity," she shouldn't have been convicted for her sex-for-Phillies-tickets offer, the court's opinion says.

Susan Finkelstein was happy about Tuesday's decision, but added her sex-for-Phillies-tickets ordeal has been costly for her career. Prosecutors say they haven't ruled out another appeal, to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

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