Judge to Hear Pretrial Motions in Jarec Wentworth Extortion Case
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge yesterday granted a continuance in the extortion trial of gay porn star Jarec Wentworth to allow for oral arguments involving four motions.
Wentworth, a top-tier performer who worked on SeanCody.com and Men.com productions, has been 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" online.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Walter called the case and asked counsel on both sides to discuss five motions entered into the proceedings. Wentworth attended the proceedings.
Walter later ordered hearing dates for four of the five motions, with a lone motion denied as moot.
Wentworth’s public defenders orally asked the court to allow motions to exclude evidence of gun and ammunition found in Wentworth’s backpack when he was arrested and to exclude evidence of tweets and retweets posted on Twitter. His attorneys also asked the judge to compel discovery on a number of questions involving D.B.’s sexual past.
Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, asked the court to exclude testimony or evidence regarding rape allegations against D.B.
Published reports have outed the alleged extortion victim as Donald Burns, a multimillionaire executive with MagicJack, the consumer telephone service.
The motion that was denied as moot and will survive involves Wentworth’s motion to compel discovery involving a status conference held in late March.
Wentworth’s attorneys asked the court to order evidence related to an investigation of D.B. and possible activities involving underage pay-for-sex arrangements after Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Jaimez characterized that the relationship between D.B. and Wentworth was a pay-for-sex arrangement.
“She also stated that in the past, D.B. has provided Mr. Brank with a ‘referral list,’ meaning a list of additional individuals that D.B. was seeking out for sexual acts in exchange for payment to [Wentworth],” Wentworth’s attorneys said in the motion.
“This court inquired as to whether any of the individuals who acted as prostitutes for D.B. were underage. Jaimez stated that at the time, the government was unaware of any sex acts D.B. had engaged in with minors but would be further investigating him.
“To date, the government has produced an FBI report of an interview with D.B. conducted on March 3, 2015. The report indicates that on an unknown date (within 2012 or 2013), D.B. was introduced to [Wentworth]. He was introduced by another gay pornography actor named Miles who D.B. had met through an online escort service.
“The FBI report goes on to note that D.B. paid for sex with [Wentworth] on several occasions and would also pay him to procure other sexual partners for D.B. In an email to [Wentworth] from D.B. dated Sept. 27, 2014, D.B. offered [Wentworth] $22,000 in referral fees if he could arrange sexual liaisons between D.B. and any of the 11 gay pornography actors listed in the email.”
Wentworth’s counsel said that despite the government’s representation at the status conference that D.B. was being investigated for pay-for-sex arrangements and for potential sex acts with minors, the defense has received no discovery related to the investigation of D.B., which prosecutors say is ongoing.
The federal prosecutors’ case is largely built on the numerous text messages found on mobile phones of Wentworth and D.B., as well as testimony from a law enforcement agent about the extraction of evidence from defendant’s phone; telephone audio recordings; and bank records.
D.B. asked for the FBI to get involved in the alleged extortion 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 FBI agents, who later found a gun and ammunition in a backpack in a Ford Focus.