Judge Denies Wentworth’s Motion for Acquittal
LOS ANGELES — The federal jurist who presided over the Jarec Wentworth extortion case has denied the gay porn star’s motion for a judgment of acquittal.
U.S. District Judge John Walter in a two-page order late Friday said that he would vacate a scheduled hearing for oral arguments that was scheduled for Friday and issue an adverse ruling on Wentworth’s motion to acquit.
The gay porn star had asked the court to toss extortion counts as well as receiving proceeds from extortion because evidence presented in court was insufficient to sustain a guilty verdict by the jury.
“Defendant argues that no reasonable trier of fact could have convicted defendant of the offenses charged in counts one, two and five,” Walter wrote in his ruling to deny Wentworth’s post-conviction challenge. “For the reasons stated in the government’s opposition, the court concludes that, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, the evidence was more than adequate to allow a rational trier of fact to find the essential elements of counts one, two and five beyond a reasonable doubt."
Wentworth this summer was convicted by a jury on six counts of extorting Donald Burns, a multimillionaire Magic Jack exec who admittedly had a penchant for sexual affairs with gay porn stars.
Wentworth, who worked on SeanCody and Men.com productions before his arrest, allegedly threatened to expose Burns’ "sexual liaisons" online.
Now, with the district court’s decision intact, Wentworth faces a sentencing hearing on Oct. 26.