The gay escort site Rentboy.com in NYC was raided by federal authorities this week as part of an investigation into money laundering & illegal prostitution. Federal agents arrested Rentboy.com CEO Jeffrey Hurant & six of the company’s employees on prostitution charges. The agents also seized their homes, bank accounts & $1.4 million. Kate Kendell President of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) stated, “Like Amnesty International, the World Health Organization & other medical & human rights organizations, NCLR strongly opposes criminal prosecution of sex work by adults. Experience & evidence have shown that criminalization serves only to make those who are vulnerable to harms associated with sex work even more vulnerable. The criminal charges against Rentboy.com by the Department of Homeland Security & the Department of Justice are misguided & a terrible waste of resources. We are especially concerned about the negative impact on LGBT individuals who have been driven to sex work after being rejected by their families & experiencing other types of discrimination. NCLR strongly recommends that the federal government adopt a strategy aimed at providing essential supports – education, jobs, housing – to LGBT youth & adults who have been marginalized by these serious harms.” If you venture to the Rentboy.com site you will see Homeland Security’s statement: “This domain has been seized by ICE-Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to seizure warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York under the authority of 18 U.S.C. §§ 981 for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956.” Interesting that they bust a gay site while all the NYC heterosexual escort sites remain open.
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