Wentworth’s Counsel Seeks to Have Weapons Charge Dropped
LOS ANGELES — Gay porn star Jarec Wentworth’s public defenders have asked a federal judge to suppress evidence in the case against him.
Specifically, his counsel has asked that the seizure of a backpack and its contents including a Magnum 357 revolver along with sex rounds of ammunition be suppressed on Fourth Amendment grounds because a search of his vehicle was warrantless and without probable cause when he was arrested.
Wentworth currently is being housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on extortion charges and denied bail.
Wentworth last month was accused of extorting $500,000 and an Audi R8 worth $180,000 from an individual identified as "D.B." by threatening to expose his “sexual liaisons” on Twitter.
Published reports have outed the alleged extortion victim as Donald Burns, a multimillionaire executive with MagicJack, the consumer telephone service.
Wentworth, who has credits with Men.com and Sean Cody, faces more than 15 years in prison, if convicted. He pleaded not guilty to federal extortion charges last month and has a trial date set for Tuesday, May 12.
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. 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 an El Segundo, Calif., Starbucks to hand over cash and title to the Audi.
At the Starbucks, Wentworth was arrested and placed in handcuffs by at least three FBI agents.
Federal agents later discovered that the gay porn star had an acquaintance accompanying him at Starbucks, awaiting in a late-model Ford Focus.
That individual, Etienne Yim, claimed he did not actively assist in the alleged extortion scheme, but admitted that he knew of it.
He also gave federal agents permission to search the vehicle, which now is at center of controversy because Yim was a third party in the seizure.
Wentworth’s counsel argued in its motion filed today to suppress evidence that Yim was in custody of as he was “immediately detained” by armed FBI agents after he mentioned that he was waiting for his friend, that Yim was not told he had a right not to consent and that no Miranda warnings were given.
“It is also likely that guns were drawn, given that the FBI report states that Mr. Yim was ‘immediately detained,’” Wentworth’s counsel wrote in the motion. “It thus appears that, on balance, the government will be unable to carry its burden to establish that Mr. Yim’s consent to the search of the car was knowing and voluntary.
“[T]he search of Mr. Brank’s backpack was illegal, and all the fruits of that search must be suppressed,” Wentworth’s counsel said.