RentBoy’s Jeffrey Hurant Sentenced To Prison & Fined Today
After his sentencing was postponed twice, this morning, the judge delivered her verdict. Hear what she had to say and Jeffrey’s first comments since the decision was handed down.
Finally, Jeffrey Hurant has learned his fate.
The news first broke with a tweet this morning.
According to John Riley,
a reporter covering the NYC courts:
Jeffrey Hurant sentenced to 6 mos in prison for running https://t.co/dKhoWU4aW7, online gay escort ad site.
— John Riley (@jriley8832) August 2, 2017
From Newsday, we heard from Jeffrey himself:
“I believe that consensual sex work between adults should be decriminalized and destigmatized,” he said. “But that hasn’t happened yet. My business was ultimately illegal, but it shouldn’t have been. We must fearlessly fight for the rights to allow consensual adults to choose what they do with their bodies.
The AP has added via Kansas.com, “The former CEO of a once-popular male escort service website who pleaded guilty last year to promoting prostitution has been sentenced to six months in prison by a judge who said it was necessary to send a deterrent message even though she knows the business did good things for people.
“The very thing that is illegal — there is no question it did a lot of good,” Brodie said as she announced the sentence, which included a $7,500 fine.”
NBC carried the story when news of the seizure first happend on August 25, 2015
We will continue to update this breaking story.
First, it was May 4. Then, July 21. And pending any last minute legal maneuvering from either side, Jeffrey Hurant will be sentenced today in federal court in Brooklyn.
As the AP is reporting, “Prosecutors want him to serve at least a short term to deter operators of other escort services from similar misconduct, while his lawyers have argued that he deserves no more than probation.
Homeland Security’s involvement in the takedown, along with an absence of any allegations that Rentboy was a menace to society beyond simple prostitution — like engaging in human trafficking or exploiting minors — stirred anger and fear in the gay community. Activists questioned why the agency would single out Rentboy when other escort websites, gay or straight, continue to do business.”
In letters to the court, the lawmakers, civil rights organizations and other supporters have cautioned that a tough sentence could send the wrong message to the gay community.
Five New York City council members from the LGBT community also signed a letter arguing that “a harsh sentence will serve neither society nor the rehabilitation of Mr. Hurant.”
The case is troubling “because it harkens back to a dark chapter in our nation’s history when the government used its vast resources to target and threaten LGBT adults by exposing their private consensual sexual activity,” wrote state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat.
Other letters written last year by two Democratic congressmen from New York, Jerrold Nadler and Sean Patrick Maloney, to the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security questioned whether the agencies had wasted time and resources on pursuing a victimless crime.
Jeffrey, we’re all rooting for you.
Look for the [UPDATED] tag as we monitor this developing story
“The Rentboy.com bust is just one battle in a larger war on sexual civil liberties that are still going strong in the 21st century.” ~William Dobbs, New York-based activist.
[ORIGINAL POST] July 21, 2017
It’s been a week of litigious ups and downs for Jeffrey Hurant who pleaded guilty October 2016 to promoting prostitution and one count of money laundering. His original sentencing date of May 4 (see original post below) was postponed and originally rescheduled for today.
According to prosecutors, “Without actual punishment in this case, the operators of those websites will likely conclude that … they can expect only a slap on the wrist.” This confirms what we have suspected all along. They are trying to make Jeffrey the sacrificial lamb and the fact this was a gay website is a bonus to the feds.
However, Jeffrey’s legal team is well aware of this and what the prosecutors are up to. StrUpGayPorn adds that, “Judge Brodie delayed sentencing again” at the behest of Jeffrey’s attorneys.”
Adding, “the fact that the judge agreed that their issue merits a response could be good news for Hurant. The government’s response to the defense is due by August 1st, and unless there’s yet another delay, Hurant’s sentencing will then be on August 2nd, 2017.”
So, pending another delay, it will all be decided a week from Wednesday.
Jeffrey, as always, we’re all rooting for you.
[ORIGINAL POST – May 4, 2017]
Why this case ever came is still a question searching for answers. But as for the fate of former CEO and owner of Rentboy.com, Jeffrey Hurant, was scheduled to be determined today by a federal judge. That date has been moved to July 21st at the request of the U.S. Attorney.
As we covered back in October, Jeffrey Hurant who pleaded guilty in October to promoting prostitution and one count of money laundering on behalf of his former business will be sentenced on Friday.As reported today in Xbiz, “In a sentencing memorandum filed last week, Jeffrey Hurant’s attorneys argued that he should be given a ‘non-incarceratory sentence.’ Currently, Hurant is free on bond.
Last week’s sentencing memorandum includes an attached letter to the Justice Department from U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, who questioned taxpayer resources spent to shut down a website such as Rentboy.com.
“Based on their own prosecutorial work product, I am deeply concerned that your investigators were more motivated by the nature and orientation of the sexual activity facilitated by Rentboy.com than whatever unremarkable offenses the website’s operators may have assisted,” Maloney wrote.Another congressman, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, also questioned the actions to prosecute Hurant and his business in a letter sent to the Justice Department. ‘LGBTQ sex workers face and elevated level of abuse, and many advocates have pointed out that actions like the Rentboy.com raid have the effect of forcing sex work deeper underground, where workers may not be for the protections that Rentboy.com provided.
Our government must not take actions to drive the hard work of the advocates and leader in the LGBTQ community backward to a time pre-Lawrence v. Texas, when gay sex could be criminalized, and send a message that gay sex is somehow taboo.”
GayPopBuzz adds, ““We respectfully submit that a non-incarceratory sentence for Jeffrey Hurant is sufficient but not greater than necessary to achieve the sentencing purposes,” wrote Michael Tremonte, Hurant’s attorney, in an April 29 sentencing memorandum. “Because the prosecution has put [rentboy.com] out of business, we respectfully submit that no further sanction is necessary for the corporate entity.”
Watch this blog.
For the complete Xbiz article, click here.