Government’s Case Against Alleged Extortionist Jarec Wentworth Hinges On Tweet From Str8UpGayPorn
It’s looking more and more likely that Jarec Wentworth, a.k.a. Teofil Brank, will be headed to trial, which is set to begin on May 12th. As Str8UpGayPorn exclusively reported last March, the Sean Cody/Men.com gay porn star is facing a felony extortion charge after allegedly threatening to expose damaging and embarrassing sexual information about Republican multimillionaire Donald Burns, whom Brank had an ongoing sexual relationship with for nearly two years.
In the last two weeks, there have been several pre-trial motions filed by both the defense and the prosecution (one from the defense seeks to suppress evidence involving the gun FBI agents found in Brank’s friend’s car), but the motion filed yesterday was of obvious interest to me. According to documents below, prosecutors are planning to introduce a tweet from Str8UpGayPorn as evidence that purportedly proves their case against Brank.
Not surprisingly, Brank’s defense has filed a motion to exclude Str8UpGayPorn’s tweet from evidence. Here is the motion:
This is, obviously, amazing/ridiculous on just about every level imaginable. For one, the defense’s argument that there is no way to prove the @JarecWentworth account was actually being run by Teofil Brank is laughable; we all know it was him, and Twitter’s IP and log-in records on the account should easily prove that.
What’s most surprising is that the government hasn’t been able to subpoena Twitter to obtain the original @JarecWentworth tweet, and is instead relying on my RT of that tweet as one of their only pieces of evidence that Brank was extorting Burns?
More from the defense’s motion, which labels me an “unknown third party”:
The defense goes on to explain the difference between an automatic RT and a manual RT (where someone makes a modification to the original tweet, as I did) and includes this footnote at the bottom of the page:
The defense is right about one thing, insofar as my RT of @JarecWentworth back on February 16th was indeed a manual RT and not a “one-click” automatic RT. And the reason I manually RT’d was so that I could add an image to the @JarecWentworth tweet.
I clearly recall that @JarecWentworth tweeted “How many porn stars know a man named Don?” but at the time, the question obviously meant nothing to me. So, I copied and pasted Jarec’s tweet and added a “funny” image to illustrate his question.
Here’s the tweet:
— STR8UPGAYPORN! (@Str8UpGayPorn) February 16, 2015
If the defense did truly attempt to locate that tweet, they didn’t try very hard. It’s still on my timeline and easy to find through Twitter’s advanced search function, assuming they didn’t feel like scrolling backwards through two months of dick pic and gifs of gay porn stars ejaculating.
More from the defense’s motion, which at this point is sort of hurting my feelings?
Irrelevant and unreliable? How rude.
As I stated above, the only modification I made to the @JarecWentworth tweet was the addition of the picture, and I’m willing to testify to that in court. If the prosecution is reading this, please get in touch.
And speaking of the prosecution, here is the relevant portion of their argument in defense of presenting my tweet as evidence:
It’s always been my understanding that all tweets, deleted or not, are being stored and cached, and if the government wants them—especially in this age of mass and unlawful surveillance—they can easily obtain them. Even if Twitter isn’t saving deleted tweets, aren’t they being archived “somewhere”?
Thank goodness for my RT, I guess!
A hearing on whether or not Str8UpGayPorn’s tweet will be allowed into evidence is scheduled for May 8th.