Jarec Wentworth Extortion Trial Likely to Begin in July
LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Jarec Wentworth extortion case yesterday asked a judge to OK a new trial date — July 7.
Wentworth, a gay porn 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.
The July 7 proposed trial date is partly necessary so that Wentworth’s public defenders can research and discuss with the gay porn star new counts in a first superseding indictment recently issued by prosecutors, as well as five pretrial motions on the court docket.
Additional time also is needed because one of his two public defenders is scheduled to report for jury duty in the middle of June.
Wentworth, meanwhile, is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles without bail.
According to court records, prosecutors so far have produced discovery to the defense, including 3,423 pages of written reports and records, five audio recordings, three video recordings and two discs containing cellphone digital files.
The 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., purportedly Magic Jack exec Donald Burns, 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. Wentworth later was arrested and placed in handcuffs by FBI agents, who later found a gun and ammunition in a backpack in his car.
Wentworth faces seven counts under the first superseding indictment, including transmitting threatening communications with intent to extort; extortion and attempted extortion affecting interstate commerce by nonviolent threat; receiving proceeds of extortion; use of an interstate facility to facilitate an unlawful activity; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.