Call-girl operator 'Babydol' Gibson given three-year sentence

LOS ANGELES - Jody Diane ''Babydol'' Gibson, convicted of running one of Southern California's largest call-girl operations, was sentenced Monday to three years in state prison for pimping.

Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash pronounced the sentence for the 42-year-old, who allegedly went by the name ''Sasha'' in conducting the Internet-based operation. She had faced a maximum of eight years and eight months behind bars and did not make any statement to the judge before sentencing.

''Those women (involved) appeared to be tragic, pathetic individuals, and I also believe that Ms. Gibson is a tragic, pathetic individual,'' Nash said.

The jury convicted her April 7 on three pimping counts but deadlocked on four counts of pandering. Nash declared a mistrial on those charges, and the district attorney's office decided against seeking a retrial on them.

Gibson's attorney plans an appeal of the pimping convictions. Nash ordered that Gibson continue to be held in the Los Angeles County jail during the appeal and did not set a bail amount.

She allegedly operated a ring of up to 30 call girls from a dilapidated home in Palo Verde, an Imperial County community along the Colorado River south of Blythe. Clients were accepted by referral and would pay between $500 and $3,000, said Los Angeles Police Lt. Mike Felix.

After selecting a woman from an Internet site, clients would be given a telephone number to make arrangements, Felix said. The service had about 100 clients, including a professional athlete, actors and corporate executives, prosecutors said.

Arrested in June 1999, the blonde, flashy-dressing Gibson had once been a rival of former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss in providing high-priced call girls to celebrities and other well-heeled clients, authorities said.

Fleiss served three years in federal prison on a 1995 conviction for conspiracy, tax evasion, laundering call-girl profits and attempted pandering of call girls whose services commanded up to $10,000.

Gibson's attorney, Gerald V. Scotti, complained that the men who allegedly hired prostitutes from Gibson escaped accountability and weren't charged with any crimes.

''Bottom line is when you put it in a pot and boil it all down, this is a case that was put on the books by men, investigated by men, crimes committed by men, and a conviction and jail term served only by a woman,'' he said.

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