Department of Homeland Security Helps NYP Raid and Shut Down Rentboy.com

Comments

1
"And when did it become the Department of Homeland Security's job to protect men from buying and selling blowjobs?"

Dan, there's a cool website called google.com that may direct you toward an answer.
2
"If you honestly think it's wrong to pay people to pretend to care about you, you've obviously never gotten a massage, or flown first class." - Spider Robinson
3
That last was my question, too. Why the hell is this Homeland Security's job, and not the local Vice squad? Even if you accept that prostitution should be illegal, what does this have to do with Homeland Security?
4
@3 If it involves money laundering or crossing state lines, for example. Or RICO.
5
@3: Who are they? Same people who've decided that anything within 100 miles of an international airport or border is a constitution-free zone. They can legally do pretty much anything they want to you.
6
I kind of hope that there will be client lists disclosed, a la Ashley Madison. Even though there would be innocent lives affected, there's bound to be some major hypocrisy exposed.
7
Is there any lower form of life than the vice cop?

The homeland must be protected...from rent boys! Let's hear how much this noble effort to protect the homeland cost.
8
So, are we also going to find out specifically which NYPD vice cops and DHS agents got blow jobs in order to verify sex-for-money was being transacted on the site?
10
Some of you are conflating TSA - that arm of DHS that most regularly gropes you, rifles through the underwear and vibrators in your carry-on, steals valuables from your checked bag (ask any high-end photographer), and images your body through your clothes - with the entire DHS. Follow #1's suggestion and you find DHS is a cabinet-level amalgamation of TSA, INS, Customs, Coast Guard, Secret Service, FEMA, among others.

Under 18 US Code 1952 of the Travel Act, they appear to have authority:
"(b) As used in this section (i) “unlawful activity” means (1) any business enterprise involving . . . prostitution offenses in violation of the laws of the State in which they are committed or of the United States,"
11
So, under the Travel Act, a local TV station in NY could be prosecuted for advertising gambling at a CT casino, but that never happens.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/…

b) As used in this section (i) “unlawful activity” means
(1) any business enterprise involving gambling, liquor on which the Federal excise tax has not been paid, narcotics or controlled substances (as defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act), or prostitution offenses in violation of the laws of the State in which they are committed or of the United States,
12
This totally shows that the "human trafficking" argument against prostitution is a lie. Nowhere in the arrest warrant is there any allegation of human trafficking, of any coercion, of anyone participating without their consent. If anything, Rentboy -- as Dan pointed out -- helps reduce coercion by allowing escorts sell their services without using a pimp who might force them into situations they don't want, or keep them from exiting the business if they want.

Does this mean that every publisher of every weekly newspaper with "blue" ads in the back is now going to be arrested? Since when is a publisher AND THEIR ENTIRE STAFF criminally liable for the independent, offsite actions of their advertisers?

The money laundering charge seems dubious at best. It's possible that more was happening that will come to light later, but I suspect it stems solely from the idea of "bad people" using "dirty money" to do "naughty things."

This all boils down to the fact that the Rentboy company had $1.5 million in cash in the bank, and under asset forfeiture laws, the agencies that participated in this get to split that even if no one ever goes to trial or is convicted of anything. Asset forfeiture laws as currently written are a fucking scam and need to be repealed or completely revamped.

The escorts who advertised on Rentboy are at great risk of having their professional and real names released, along with other confidential information (addresses, social security numbers, etc.) But as Dan's amended post points out, the anti-gay hypocrites like George Rekers have nothing to worry about because the escorts posted their contact info and clients contacted the escorts outside of Rentboy's service.
13
@12: Perhaps all the escorts who were on Rentboy should collectively announce that they will release their clients' information if any of them are arrested?
14
That's dicey territory, Dan. Maybe they threaten to release certain clients names.. High profile names.
What the hell is going on, all of a sudden. AM, now this bust.
15
I asked Rentboy if they would help support our historic lawsuit to decrim in California. We filed in federal court and believe that a ruling would have broad effects. We asked if they would post a link to our online crowd source fundraiser and our case. They declined. Who will the they come for next. www.esplerp.org
16
These dirty WHORES deserve this. I am a very successful Gay Psychiatrist. I went to school and became a self made millionaire. This TRASH makes us look bad! Hope they all get years in Prison!!!!
17
Has anyone started #giveyourmoneytosexworkers yet? It feels inevitable.
18
Rentboy, Uber, what's the difference?
19
Gosh, I feel so much more secure now! So glad my tax dollars were used on this instead of looking for actual terrorists.
20
Homeland Security? WTF?

21
I'm with Pope Buck @ #2. Good quotation.

And I think I also agree with the one above who suspects this is an asset forfeiture action.

Even if the RB management wasn't supportive of other groups, no one deserves this.