Gay Porn Star Jarec Wentworth, Charged With Extortion, Seeks Pretrial Release
LOS ANGELES — Public defenders representing Jarec Wentworth asked a federal judge today to reconsider allowing the gay porn star to post bail for a pretrial release after he was charged on a felony extortion count.
Wentworth, who has been in detention for about three weeks since arrested, isn’t a flight risk, his attorneys said this morning.
Counsel said it would be unlikely he would flee because the Justice Department was able to freeze all of his bank accounts.
“Defendant’s alleged access to large sums of money was the basis for the detention order at the initial appearance,” deputy federal public defenders Ashfaq Chowdhury and Seema Ahmad said in their request to reconsider bail.
“Subsequent to the initial appearance, the government froze [Wentworth’s] bank accounts, thereby eliminating his ability to access any funds and eliminating any serious risk of flight.”
Wentworth’s counsel is asking for pretrial release with conditions set by the court; the Justice Department, however, won’t stipulate to a release.
Wentworth, who has shot more than 70 gay porn scenes for Men.com and Sean Cody and earned a 2015 Grabby Awards nomination just this week, was put under FBI surveillance and arrested after allegedly extorting $500,000 and an Audi R8 worth $180,000 from an unnamed victim.
Wentworth allegedly threatened to expose details of the victim’s embarrassing “sexual liaisons” on Twitter. But the unnamed victim, according to a federal complaint, went straight to the FBI, which followed an exchange of text messages between the two.
A meeting to exchange cash and the Audi’s title of registration between Wentworth and an undercover FBI agent who posed as the victim’s associate was to be held at the Grove, a Los Angeles shopping destination near the city’s famed Farmer’s Market.
But, instead, the meeting was held at a Manhattan Beach Starbucks. When FBI agents arrested Wentworth, they found a loaded .357 Magnum revolver with additional ammunition.
Just prior to his arrest, Wentworth upped his demands to the victim by demanding $1 million in cash and a two-bedroom “bachelor pad” condo in Los Angeles.
Wentworth remains in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Tomorrow, he faces an arraignment in the extortion case. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years or longer in federal prison.