Jarec Wentworth Denied Bail; Extortion Victim Seeks to Seal Identity
UPDATE (12:35 P.M.): U.S. District Judge Michael Wilner has denied bail for Jarec Wentworth. Wentworth’s counsel in the case had asked the court to allow bail, stating that it would be unlikely he would be a flight risk because the Justice Department was able to freeze all of his bank accounts after he was arrested. The alleged extortion victim’s attorney, Douglas Axel of the law firm Sidley Austin, attended the proceedings.
LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for “D.B.,” the alleged extortion victim in the criminal case involving gay porn star Jarec Wentworth, have gone to court seeking to seal his identity from the public record.
But already, the victim’s alleged identity has been divulged by several blogs.
Attorneys from one of the world’s top law firms, Sidley Austin LLP, showed up at Wentworth’s arraignment last week and moved the court for an order preventing the disclosure of D.B.’s identity in the public record of the proceedings of this case until a trial commences.
Wentworth’s trial date is set for Tuesday, May 12.
In court papers filed before this morning’s bail hearing for the gay porn star, Wentworth’s public defenders representing him in the case have asked the court to block any attempt to seal his identity.
“In this case, and by the government’s own admission, D.B. has engaged in
criminal activity by paying for sex with [Wentworth] and also paying to have sex with other individuals allegedly procured for him for the sole purpose of engaging in sexual relations,” Wentworth’s counsel said in a motion to the court to oppose the victim’s motion for an order protecting his privacy rights
“To date, the government has refused to conclusively assert that D.B.’s sexual partners were all of adult age,” Wentworth said. "Therefore, the public’s right of access to the judicial process to ensure fairness and to maintain public confidence in the system is particularly acute here, where, D.B. has engaged in criminal activity himself.
“To allow D.B. to remain anonymous in the face of his questionable conduct would suggest that an individual, using his significant resources, can shield himself from justifiable scrutiny by invoking victim status. Furthermore, significant public disclosure of D.B.’s identity has already taken place.”
Federal public defenders said that at least one website has published a blog post about this case. The post refers to D.B. by name, they said.
“Given that the public is already aware of D.B.’s identity and potentially criminal conduct, it is improper to prevent disclosure of his identity in the public record.”
D.B., according to a federal complaint, asked for the FBI to get involved after he was initially fleeced out of $500,000 and the Audi.
After the FBI was summoned, Wentworth allegedly later increased his demands to D.B., asking for $1 million in cash, a motorcycle and a two-bedroom condo in Los Angeles.
As days went by, FBI agents, who acted as D.B.’s associates, arranged a meeting with Wentworth at a Manhattan Beach Starbucks to hand over cash and title to the Audi.
Wentworth originally had planned for the meeting to take place at the Grove, a shopping destination in the Park La Brea community of Los Angeles. But D.B., at the insistence of FBI agents, chose the Starbucks as an alternative.
At the Manhattan Beach Starbucks, Wentworth was arrested and placed in handcuffs by at least three FBI agents.
The agents later discovered that the gay porn star had an acquaintance accompanying him at Starbucks, awaiting in a late-model Ford with the gun.
Wentworth remains at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles.