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BREAKING: Criminal Charges Dropped Against Six Rentboy.com Employees


Guy Fawkes
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BREAKING: Criminal Charges Dropped Against Six Rentboy.com Employees

 

Back in August of last year, [Jeffrey] Hurant and six of his employees were arrested during a sting operation in Manhattan conducted by Homeland Security with help from the NYPD.

 

The site’s former CEO, Jeffrey Hurant, 51, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on a charge of promoting prostitution, as well as two other money laundering charges.

 

The indictment did not include the six arrested employees, and the criminal complaint against them remained pending.

 

Today it’s being reported that the charges against them have been dropped. It’s a welcomed bit of good news in a case that has been heavily weighed down by questionable motives and tactics at the government level.

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That's great news....BUT, having experienced of how the "criminal justice" system works myself and others and what they can put a person through...having charges dropped feels great, but is like...why the $&?! did you waste your time bringing them to begin with?

 

Sometimes you want to sue them, but with cases like this...oftentimes the "bargain" includes an agreement not to pursue any action after the charges are dropped.

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Did the 6 get their charges dropped in return for them testifying against Durant? That would be the more likely scenario ...

I have not read a reason for the charges being dropped. However, there is now a permanent US Attorney. Perhaps the new leadership reviewed the case and decided it did not have a chance of winning.

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I have not read a reason for the charges being dropped. However, there is now a permanent US Attorney. Perhaps the new leadership reviewed the case and decided it did not have a chance of winning.

 

Prostitution, gays and NYC is a perfect cultural war for right wingers. A Republican government in 2017 would love to make a big deal about this issue!

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Did the 6 get their charges dropped in return for them testifying against Durant? That would be the more likely scenario ...

 

It does not appear so based on this article: http://gothamist.com/2016/02/18/rentboy_charges_dropped.php

 

One of the lawyers involved said that there were no strings attached to dropping the charges, and she believed the prosecutors eventually realized her client had no information to provide them. According to the article, deals with a prosecutor typically involve one defendant pleading guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for testimony against a co-defendant. That is not at all what happened here—the government simply dropped the charges. Further, another defendant made clear his ongoing support for Mr. Hurant: “We can celebrate these dismissals while renewing our support for Jeff and others who are affected.” http://www.sdgln.com/news/2016/01/29/one-rentboycom-employee-cleared-all-charges-others-waiting#sthash.AqVEqWcS.dpbs. That doesn’t sound like a witness for the prosecution.

 

In all the coverage of this, I was particularly struck by Mr. Estanol’s statement, as quoted in the New York Times: “now that my case has been rightfully dismissed I can start to put back the pieces of my life that were taken from me. I am forever grateful to everyone who supported me during the past few months. We will meet injustice with justice." http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/18/nyregion/charges-dismissed-against-6-ex-employees-of-rentboycom.html?_r=0

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Where they actually charged, or where they under investigation? Either way it's good news, only if they were only under investigation I think it would limit any claim for compensation.

 

 

They were charged. The problem is the charges were dropped without prejudice meaning that the government can re-charge them for the same things anytime they want. I'm betting if Hurant doesn't take a deal, the government will pressure these 6 into testifying against him.

 

Gman

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What I find interesting is that the 'Manscaping and Pubic Hair' post gets far more replies/participation (although a similar amount of views) than the update on the 'Rentboy 6' ... are we shallow, or what? It shows were OUR priorities are!

 

One of the articles quoted here mentions newcomer 'www.rentboys.us'. Does anybody know when this will be launched? And who owns that site?

 

Thank you.

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They were charged. The problem is the charges were dropped without prejudice meaning that the government can re-charge them for the same things anytime they want. I'm betting if Hurant doesn't take a deal, the government will pressure these 6 into testifying against him.

 

Gman

 

There's one problem with that: with the charges dismissed without prejudice, the former defendants have reason to claim the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves. As the lawyer quoted above says, normally cooperating witnesses are given plea deals, not dismissals.

 

The likelihood is not only that they didn't have helpful information but that the legal advice Hurant had received regarding the legality of the business was sufficient to exonerate the employees, who wouldn't be expected to question or look behind the advice.

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There's one problem with that: with the charges dismissed without prejudice, the former defendants have reason to claim the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves. As the lawyer quoted above says, normally cooperating witnesses are given plea deaks, not dismissals.

 

The likelihood is not only that they didn't have helpful information but that the legal advice Hurant had received regarding the legality of the business was sufficient to exonerate the employees, who wouldn't be expected to question or look behind the advice.

 

I was thinking if they were 'asked' to testify against Hurant, that they would most likely be receiving immunity. But if the charges were dropped with prejudice, the government wouldn't have much of a stick to force them to testify against Hurant if needed. But I am the farthest thing from a lawyer, I obviously defer to you regarding your knowledge.

 

Gman

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I was thinking if they were 'asked' to testify against Hurant, that they would most likely be receiving immunity. But if the charges were dropped with prejudice, the government wouldn't have much of a stick to force them to testify against Hurant if needed. But I am the farthest thing from a lawyer, I obviously defer to you regarding your knowledge.

 

Gman

 

Anyone can be called to testify by being subpoenaed. Usually the penalty for failing to show up is being jailed for contempt of court, which isn't possible if the witness disappears without a trace, but under the circumstances, I would expect the former defendants not to do that.

 

However, as routine as it is, issuing and serving a subpoena takes time and effort. Government employees, including attorneys, are generally salaried and get the same pay irrespective of hours worked, which is at least theoretically an incentive for efficiency. So there's little point to subpoenaing witnesses who won't be helpful to making a case. Also, one of the tenets of courtroom advocacy is not to call a witness unless you're darn sure of what their answers will be.

 

What's confusing here is the inherent conflict between dismissal for failure to make out a case and dismissal without prejudice. If the response to an assertion of Fifth Amendment privilege is "we can't offer you immunity because you didn't do anything criminal," why not dismiss with prejudice? Also, just because the Feds may now think they didn't violate the law doesn't mean they're not arguably open to state charges. For these reasons, it doesn't look to me like there is a quid pro quo here. If they really wanted one, prosecutors would have closed the door to refiling charges or would only have agreed to a conditional dismissal (i.e., one that is not immediately effective).

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One of the articles quoted here mentions newcomer 'www.rentboys.us'. Does anybody know when this will be launched? And who owns that site?

 

Thank you.

 

There was a thread mentioning this site a few weeks ago, but not much information about it. http://www.companyofmen.org/threads/rentboys-us-anyone-know-anything.111484/#post-1054681

 

According to the article, they plan to launch around March 1, but the date might be delayed. They are apparently not inclined to reveal ownership information at this point since the “consultant” quoted in the article only gave his name as “John Smith,” but they plan on “following the law, no different from the legal ones that are up now.”

 

I find this last statement to be interesting, since the legality of any of these sites seems to be at best in a grey area in light of the ongoing prosecution. The statement at the end of the article strikes me as a more accurate summary of the legal landscape for these sites: “It’s just really confusing.”

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What I find interesting is that the 'Manscaping and Pubic Hair' post gets far more replies/participation (although a similar amount of views) than the update on the 'Rentboy 6' ... are we shallow, or what? It shows were OUR priorities are

I see how you drew that conclusion, but I would like to offer a different one. Manscaping is a topic that requires little more than an opinion. The topic of charges against 6 defendants being dropped requires a little more critical thinking. Perhaps folks don't think they can add anything to the conversation.

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I see how you drew that conclusion, but I would like to offer a different one. Manscaping is a topic that requires little more than an opinion. The topic of charges against 6 defendants being dropped requires a little more critical thinking. Perhaps folks don't think they can add anything to the conversation.

+1 and interesting observation, RVW. Personally, I read these threads eagerly but refrain from posting bc I think critically enough to know I'm way out of my element. ;) So I sit, shut up, learn, and if I find an angle where I can be additive, I will chime in.

 

Ok, now I hand this thread back to the big dogs who know a lot more than I do... :)

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