Ex-Rentboy.com CEO Plea Deal to Be Revealed Oct. 7
BROOKLYN — A federal judge next month will hear details over a plea agreement between prosecutors and Jeffrey Hurant, the former owner of Rentboy.com who was indicted on charges of running a website promoting prostitution.
A hearing at Brooklyn federal court has been scheduled for Oct. 7 at 10:45 a.m. in regards to the plea deal for Hurant and his company, which also was named in the indictment.
U.S. District Judge Robert M. Levy would have to sign off on the plea deal, which hasn’t been revealed by the Justice Department or Hurant’s counsel, attorney Michael Tremonte.
Hurant and his company, Easy Rent Systems Inc., were indicted on three counts including promotion of prostitution and money laundering in August 2015. Hurant and six of his employees were arrested in a raid by federal authorities.
With the original charges, Hurant faced more than 20 years in prison, if convicted on all counts.
Hurant and Easy Rent Systems previously pleaded not guilty over the charges. The company’s employees all had their charges dropped in the case.
In the indictment, prosecutors said that male escorts paid at least $59.95 per month and up to several hundred dollars to advertise on Rentboy.com, which generated more than $10 million from 2010 to 2015.
Before authorities shut the website and offices down, Rentboy.com reportedly lured about 500,000 unique visitors each day.
Hurant and staff charged advertisers up to about $300 per ad, according to the indictment. Advertisers were encouraged to publish their penis size, build, indicate whether they had foreskin and whether they preferred to have safe sex or bareback sex.
The indictment also noted that Rentboy failed to verify ages of those who advertised on its site, especially in Asia since at least 2006.
Critics of the case have included many individuals, groups and media outlets, such as The New York Times, which in an editorial said prosecutors had not justified shutting down "a company that provided sex workers with a safer alternative to street walking or relying on pimps."