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'HOLLYWOOD MADAM' IS DENIED NEW TRIAL

A judge Friday denied Heidi Fleiss, known as the "Hollywood Madam," a new trial on prostitution charges, despite finding there was jury misconduct when she was found guilty on pandering charges.

"I find there is no substantial likelihood that the misconduct prejudiced the defendant," Judge Judith Champagne said in her ruling. "The motion for the new trial is denied."

The judge expressed her disappointment in the jury's actions, but suggested that the four panelists who admitted "trading" their verdict votes may have exaggerated their apparent misdeeds in order to help Ms. Fleiss win a new trial.

Ms. Fleiss, 29, the daughter of a prominent Los Angeles doctor, will be sentenced May 12. She faces a maximum of eight years, eight months in prison on three counts of pandering, or supplying women for the purposes of prostitution -- and under state law must be sentenced to at least three years in jail.

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