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  1. #4156

    Re: World News Random, Random

    I honestly don't know what may happen if the October elections are not transparent. CFK has done a great job dividing the country like never before.
    Stannis, heir to the Iron Clay Throne

  2. #4157
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    7 Charged With Promoting Prostitution by Working on Rentboy.com, an Escort Website

    The terms of service on the website Rentboy.com said that people could not use it to exchange money for sex. But federal authorities, who called it the largest online male-escort service and arrested the site’s chief executive and several other employees on Tuesday, said that was exactly what was happening.

    The chief executive, Jeffrey Hurant, 50, and six other current or former employees appeared in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon on charges of promoting prostitution.

    Although the site, founded in 1997, required visitors to accept the terms of service, the criminal complaint said visitors would arrive at a home page stocked with escorts’ profiles listing sexual services and fees. Escorts pay to post the profiles, and the site’s visitors contact them directly to arrange meetings.

    The site, whose headquarters are on 14th Street at Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, has had $10 million in sales since 2010, the criminal complaint says.

    “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,” Kelly T. Currie, acting United States attorney for New York’s Eastern District, said in a statement.

    Charles Hochbaum, the lawyer for Mr. Hurant, said outside court that the case represented a First Amendment issue.

    “My client advertises for people who are willing to be escorts, to accompany people for their time and be paid,” he said.

    “He’s upset and confused about how this legitimate business could become the subject of a Homeland Security investigation,” he said. The Homeland Security Investigations arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement was involved in the investigation, apparently because it believed the site promoted prostitution across state and national borders.

    “I don’t think we do anything to promote prostitution,” Mr. Hurant said. “I think we do good things for good people, and bring good people together.”

    Putting up profiles costs escorts $59.95 to $299.95 a month, depending on how visible the ads are, according to the complaint. Website members then contact them.

    Escorts list “primary interests,” ranging from “vanilla” (“nice and clean”) to leather to role play to other fetishes. “A user can filter by a number of categories,” from primary interests to preferred sexual position, the complaint says. There are also fields for the escort’s pay rates, the complaint says, including overnight and weekend rates.

    A separate website, DaddysReviews.com, “contains explicit reviews of the escorts written by previous customers,” the complaint says.

    In one profile quoted in the complaint, an escort in Manhattan advertising as Ryan Raz said, “I have a very innocent shy mid-west look, but once you get me behind closed doors it’s an amazing experience.” He charged $300 per hour for a standard visit.

    Some of the complaint details “the Hookies,” or the International Escort Awards, which the website holds each year. The site’s marketing banter for the awards described them as “covering all aspects of the oldest profession as presented in the newest media,” according to the complaint.

    At the 2015 Hookies, held this year at a West 42nd Street hotel, an undercover agent approached Mr. Hurant, who gave the agent a business card with the email address cyberpimp@rentboy.com on it and explained that the Hookies were about celebrating sex “so good, you had to tell someone.”

    One of the other six defendants is Michael Sean Belman, 47, the director of the site. According to the complaint, Mr. Belman has given interviews indicating that he knows the escorts are offering sex, such as describing the Hookies winners as “sexual therapists.”

    Another of those arrested was Edward Lorenz Estanol, 23, an escort, Hookies award nominee and former social-media coordinator for the site. He charged $300 an hour, or $3,000 for a weekend, the complaint says. On his personal website, he wrote that “escorting is a great way to explore your sexuality and get paid doing it,” the complaint says.

    Another is Diana Milagros Mattos, 43, a former saleswoman, who had “a Twitter account in which she identified herself as the ‘escort whisperer’ ” while she worked at Rentboy.com, the complaint says, and tried to help escorts increase their social-media presence so they would get more clients.

    The others are Shane Lukas, 41, chief operating officer; Clint Calero, 48, a sales executive; and Marco Soto Decker, 28, an accountant for the site. (The complaint says that Mr. Decker is currently employed by the site, but his lawyer, Joel S. Cohen, said he now worked at a different business.)

    All of the defendants except for Mr. Lukas made their initial appearances in Federal District Court on Tuesday and were released on bonds ranging from $50,000 each for Ms. Mattos, Mr. Estanol and Mr. Calero to $350,000 for Mr. Hurant. Mr. Lukas was arrested and made his initial appearance in South Dakota.

    Lawyers for Ms. Mattos and Mr. Estanol declined to comment. A lawyer for Mr. Belman, Anthony Ricco, also raised the First Amendment issue, and a lawyer for Mr. Calero said he agreed. A lawyer for Mr. Lukas could not immediately be reached. All the defendants were listed as New York City residents.

    Conviction carries a maximum penalty for each defendant of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The government said Tuesday morning that it was trying to seize the domain rentboy.com, which was not loading as of Tuesday afternoon.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/26/ny...t-website.html
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  3. #4158

    Re: World News Random, Random

    How could anyone think a site called Rentboy.con was promoting prostitution?
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  4. #4159
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    How could anyone think a site called Rentboy.con was promoting prostitution?
    They were pretty brazen, weren't they? And $10 million in sales since 2010? Hey ponchi... Considering your job hunt, it appears there's now a large internet vacancy that needs to be filled. Maybe Kirk could help build the site!

    ::

    That said, if you're going to do sex work to pay for school or whatever, this would probably be one of the safer, preferable ways to go about doing it. It's certainly safer than working the street, that's for sure. I have no problem with consenting adults agreeing to exchange sex for money. A lot of people think it should be legalized across the board and regulated like hell. The Netherlands did a good job of legalizing sex work, but they've really dropped the ball on the regulation part. Sex trafficking has actually escalated rather than slowed. I think it was Sweden who somewhat recently passed legislation to criminalize the purchasing of sex rather than the selling of it (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

    In any case, something like this creates a void someone will certainly fill. Quickly.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  5. #4160

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    How could anyone think a site called Rentboy.con was promoting prostitution?
    CEO Belslus certainly thought he was being explicit.
    Stannis, heir to the Iron Clay Throne

  6. #4161

    Re: World News Random, Random

    It's called RENTBOY, Dry, not RENTOLDFOGGIE
    Internet sex services are very good for prostitutes. They gain more command of their own lives. It pretty much helps them get rid of pimps and other middlemen. It is not perfect (a lot of pimps set up the sites, and it is of course used by human traffickers) but for some women, it allows them independence and better control of who they service.
    50 ways to leave your (non) lover: "I hope you understand me when I say it was torture having met you"

  7. #4162
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    It's called RENTBOY, Dry, not RENTOLDFOGGIE
    Internet sex services are very good for prostitutes. They gain more command of their own lives. It pretty much helps them get rid of pimps and other middlemen. It is not perfect (a lot of pimps set up the sites, and it is of course used by human traffickers) but for some women, it allows them independence and better control of who they service.
    Well, I wasn't expecting you to be the commodity; I saw you working in a management role. But actually, there's a market for everything!

    I'd just add the issue of safety. We learned from the Craigslist murders that there are certainly some dangerous people online. No one in sex work will ever be guaranteed safety from that. But the online platform is generally much safer for sex workers than street work. And from the sounds of it, sex workers found online get to charge A LOT more than street-based sex workers. I mean, $300 a call. Let's say you do 4 calls a week. That's about $5000/month. Plus tips. And it's all yours (minus your subscription fee). That would pay a lot of tuition expenses and/or bills.

    I think I've mentioned before that I have a good friend close to my age who was an escort. He made a superb living at it, invested wisely, and quit the business in his early 30s. He never had what you or I would call a real job. He is now retired and living high on the hog with his partner in a beautiful beach-front property on the Gulf Coast.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  8. #4163

    Re: World News Random, Random

    You just stated the obvious that street workers are the lowest rung of sex industry. It's always been like that, even before the internet.
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