Rentboy.com CEO and employees arrested! Site Shut Down!
Federal Takedown of Male Escort Site Rentboy.com
(DALLAS, TX) EDGE Media Group— It was reported Tuesday that federal agents raided the New York City officers of Rentboy.com, called the world’s largest male escort site. The website’s CEO and a number of other employees have been arrested. Several hours after the incident, more information has been revealed, including details from the Homeland Security complaint against RentBoy.com.
The site’s CEO, Jeffrey Hurant, and a handful of other employees, were charged with promoting prostitution at the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York Tuesday. One employee, who no longer works at RentBoy.com, was charged in South Dakota, Gay Star News reports.
“Rentboy.com is a male escort advertising site founded in 1997 which hosts thousands of paid advertisements,” a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice reads. “While the site has disclaimers stating that the advertisements are for companionship and not sexual services, Rentboy.com is designed primarily for advertising illegal prostitution.”
Kelly T. Currie, Acting U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District of New York, echoed the DOJ’s comments.
“As alleged, Rentboy.com attempted to present a veneer of legality, when in fact this internet brothel made millions of dollars from the promotion of illegal prostitution,” she said.
The 22-page complaint, which is dated August 18 and can be read by clicking here, claims the website made $10 million in the last five years has thousands of advertisements.
“…the entire website is designed for the purpose of advertising prostitution,” the complaint reads. “Escort profiles generally detail the sexual acts each escort is willing to perform and the price. They also contain nude pictures and indications relating to penis size. In addition, profile pages have links to a separate website called DADDYSREVIEWS.COM that contains explicit reviews of the escorts written by previous customers.”
The complaint gets into some pretty specific and graphic detail about the site’s users, mentioning the different physical attributes escorts can list, and the sexual actives they perform. At one point in the document, Homeland Security Agent Susan Ruiz, who authored the complaint, writes about an escort named “Brandon,” who resides in Brooklyn, and advertises he is “hairy handsome versatile & uninhibited.” Brandon also notes he has a “sling and rimchair.”
“A rimchair is a seat resembling a raised toilet seat designed so that the anus is accessible while someone is sitting on the seat. I have also learned that ‘rimming’ refers to the touching of the tongue to the anus,” Ruiz wrote.
The complaint also details the defendants and their charges along with the New York State laws criminalizing prostitution and the promotion of prostitution. CNN reports, according to a press release from Currie, the accused have been charged with “conspiring to violate the Travel Act by promoting prostitution.”
Hurant’s lawyers said the case is a First Amendment issue, however.
“My client advertises for people who are willing to be escorts, to accompany people for their time and be paid,” the CEO’s lawyer said according to Gay Star News. “He’s upset and confused about how this legitimate business could become the subject of a Homeland Security investigation.”
After his arraignment Tuesday, Hurant, 50, spoke with reporters outside the court and said, “I don’t think that we do anything to promote prostitution … I think we do good things for good people, and we bring good people together.”
If found guilty Hurant and the RentBoy.com employees face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
RentBoy.com, cofounded by Hurant and Melanie Nolan in 1997, is a popular male escort site that charges subscribers a “minimum monthly fee of $59.95 and up to several hundred dollars to advertise sexual services,” according to Currie’s press release.