[UPDATED] Ruling On Jarec Wentworth Appeal Delayed As Ninth Circuit Judge Who Heard Case Resigns Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Posted December 31, 2017 by with 58 comments

jarekryan44

Note: This story has been updated below.

In 2015, gay porn star turned convicted felon Jarec Wentworth was sentenced to nearly six years in prison after being found guilty of attempting to extort over $1,000,000 from wealthy Republican telecom executive Donald Burns—with whom Wentworth, and several other Sean Cody gay porn stars, had an extensive sexual relationship—and Wentworth’s federal appeal of that conviction was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court last June. Now, in a stunning (if not coincidental?) turn of events, one of the Ninth Circuit judges who heard Wentworth’s appeal and had been scheduled to rule on the case has abruptly resigned following complaints of sexual misconduct by at least 15 different women who had worked with him. Judge Alex Kozinski—a Reagan appointee who was one of three circuit court judges who heard Wentworth’s case in June—has immediately stepped down from the bench, and it’s now entirely unclear when, if at all, the court will issue their ruling on Wentworth’s appeal.

Wentworth (legal name Teofil Brank) has submitted a letter to the court inquiring about the status of his appeal’s ruling, and has requested “additional time” to work on his appeal. It’s not clear what he needs more time for (as noted, the appeal has already been heard), but he could be anticipating that he’ll need to present further information to the court once Kozinski’s successor is appointed by Donald Trump?

ppeal1 peal2Again, the appeal has already been heard and the court may have already been writing the ruling, so it’s unclear what happens with that incomplete ruling now, since Kozinski is no longer part of the court. Maybe the panel can still rule, regardless of Kozinski’s retirement? According to a lawyer who argued a case in front of Kozinski, a replacement judge will be randomly drawn to complete working on the case:

Whether the appeal is determined by the replacement judge temporarily joining the panel or by the permanent judge who Trump eventually appoints, the ruling will undoubtedly be delayed for several more months. As it stands now, Wentworth is set to be released from prison in April of 2020.

L.A. Times on Kozinski’s resignation:

In his 35 years on the federal appeals bench, Judge Alex Kozinski had become known for his brilliant legal mind and stylish, provocative writing. A Kozinski clerkship at the Pasadena 9th Circuit courthouse was often seen as a ticket to a similar position at the U.S. Supreme Court.

But it was his alleged treatment of clerks and other women in the legal profession that brought his career careening to a halt. It had been the subject of whispers for years, and on Monday, Kozinski abruptly retired in the wake of more than a dozen complaints from former clerks, externs and others accusing him of sexual misconduct.

In interviews with the Washington Post and in blog posts, at least 15 women accused him of inappropriate behavior, from showing them pornography to improperly touching them.

“I cannot be an effective judge and simultaneously fight this battle,” Kozinski, 67, said in a statement distributed by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “Nor would such a battle be good for my beloved federal judiciary.”

In addition to his apparent fondness for pornography and sex, the judge was coincidentally similar to Brank in another way: Kozinski, like Brank, was born in Romania and moved to the United States as a young boy:

Kozinski was born in Romania, and at age 12 he moved to the United States with his parents, who were Holocaust survivors. His family settled in Los Angeles, where his father ran a small grocery store. Kozinski received undergraduate and law degrees from UCLA. He described himself in Monday’s statement as a “refugee from Communism.”

“I firmly believe that a strong judiciary, free from political pressures, is vital to the preservation of this great nation,” he wrote.

In the staid world of the law, Kozinski stood out. Kozinski punctuated his rulings with humor and words not seen in other court decisions. In one case, he wrote, “The parties are advised to chill.”

UPDATE:

A drawing for a replacement judge has been made, with Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz taking over for Kozinski. There’s no news on additional hearings, so Hurwitz will rule based on evidence already submitted and the recorded hearing last summer (as seen below). Hurwitz was nominated to the Ninth Circuit by President Obama in 2011, and he assumed office in 2012.

march

Jarec Wentworth has been given a deadline of March 22nd, 2018 to file any additional status reports or motions, which means a final ruling on the appeal should be issued around that time, if not sooner.

In case you missed it, here’s the video of Wentworth/Brank’s appeal as it was heard by Kozinski (on the far left) and two other Ninth Circuit judges in June. (Brank was not present for these proceedings, but for those who followed the case and the trial closely, some of the arguments in the video are interesting.)

  • AlohaMar

    They won’t need to appoint a new Judge. His appeal was handled by a 3-Judge panel. They could either rule with the remaining 2 judges, or assign one of the many other 9th curcuit judges available to handle the matter. If there were oral arguments (they don’t happen in most cases, but might have here), I suppose his attorney could request that oral arguments be heard again. However, oral arguments are recorded and a new 3rd Judge could just listen to them. I don’t know current 9th circuit protocols, but they certainly don’t need to wait for a new Judge appointment.

  • Miloš Del Rey

    Okay can he just stay in jail and serve his sentence. It’s not like he didn’t do the crime or it was an accident. He needs to stop trying and just accept the facts you fucked up Teofil. And I’m having a hard time looking for a fuck to give… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce24193f9f799c811e957761c82359ac87ba7f1c09829e53d94afa548fb8e30e.gif

  • DrewKellan

    I wonder if he still plans on doing porn once he’s out, I for one wouldn’t mind that if I’m being completely honest. He is one my favorites and I still watch his older videos, news ones wouldn’t be too bad, right?

    • sxg

      Well obviously he’ll return to porn. He has nothing better to offer, and stealing from sugar daddies isn’t exactly something to brag about on your resumé.

    • Zachary Sire

      I would definitely watch.

    • Jace

      Hopefully, he’s catching up on his bottoming skills in the meantime.

    • Scrapple

      Cliff Jensen did and look at him now. Just look, don’t listen. He tends to say a lot of dumb shit. On account of the weed.

    • moondoggy

      Jarek fucks Christian is right up there with the best porn I have ever seen. Jarek did his share, but Christian was gone way way way too soon.

    • HoratioCaine

      he’ll be doing it in romania.

    • Hari Kalyan

      Me too. I hope prison has hardened him (pun intended) like it did Cliff Jensen. He came out banging ass like never before!

    • Jon

      I’ve been thinking about this and wondering if it made me a horrible person.

  • Will G

    “I request aditional [sic] time to see what will happen with ruling” is, as you said, completely incoherent, and his appellate attorney should have handled whatever it is he’s trying to do.

    Thanks for posting that video, I had missed it.

  • Scrapple

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bcdbf8db310b63864a03f5398c61fd6b0f8febd9953f350dbf61e680c4394537.gif

    Damn. It’s like The Neverending Story, with Jarec playing the role of The Childlike Empress and Mr. Burns portraying The Nothing. Given their shared heritage and porno connection I thought “Gee, that sucks. He probably would’ve been on Teo’s side.” Then I watched some of that vid and quickly changed my tune. The Honorable Miss Thing was having none of this. The other two are all attentive and focused, and this one is fidgeting, looking bored out of his mind, and slinking down in his chair like he’s Bernie in Weekend at Bernie’s 2 and someone stopped playing the music. The struggle is real, and Kozinski was struggling not to look shook.

    • Deviancy Behavir

      See I love how your mind works, I be thinking of things just like this and giving my little spin on it. Btw, Clue is one of my fave murder mystery movies of all time. Look at Leslie Ann Warren chewing up the scenery and looking sweet as sin doing it.

      • Scrapple

        Clue is classic awesomeness. Serving devious divas, camp, gowns and Tim Curry looking his most delicious (outside of fishnets and heels, of course). And I don’t care how gay you are, there’s no denying Colleen Camp had some amazing 80s boobs. They’re right up there with Leslie Easterbrook and Cassandra Peterson.

      • moondoggy
        • Hari Kalyan

          I just saw this movie late one night last week. It was sad, kinda hot, but also sad.

          • moondoggy

            Wow, did you rent it or was it on TV? I hope you saw the full uncensored version. To me, it was more than “kinda” hot.

          • Hari Kalyan

            It was on TV and I admit I was dozing on and off but the guy was kinda cute.

    • HoratioCaine

      i didn’t know tim curry was ever that young…..

  • stephen
    • sxg

      Lol i loved this scene. Claire invited herself into what was suppose to be a dinner date. She knew what she was doing! Lol

  • Deviancy Behavir

    Sean Cody needs this tagline, Sean Cody where you come for the porn and stay for the felonies.

  • Alessandro

    Not knowing the ins-and-outs of this case, Jarec/Toefil’s lawyer offered a very good oral argument. The panel of judges were deferential to him and his argument and they rarely interrupted him. If the panel had been curt or disruptive that would’ve been a bad sign. The US Attorney appeared fare more nervous and got more pushback from the panel of judges.

    Jarec also got a favorable panel of judges. One appointee each appointed by Obama, Carter and Reagan. The Carter appointee (Stephen Reinhardt) is considered perhaps the most radical and left-wing judge on the federal bench and someone usually suspicious of accepting the government’s arguments on criminal matters. Kozinski, although appointed by Reagan, had a libertarian reputation. That there hasn’t been a decision filed since the original oral argument also suggests good news for Jarec. If they were just going to agree with the government, they probably would’ve sent out a short opinion by now.

    And while Jarec’s attorneys for his trial may have been poor, his lawyer at this stage is a Harvard undergrad and a graduate of Yale Law School. I wonder who’s paying the bills? Or was it pro bono.

    • Zachary Sire

      It was pro bono.

      • nick

        pro boner ?

  • WhimsyCotton

    They’ll accept his appeal, and he’ll be out by the fall. May his return to porn be a great one! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e8553850fd6d9b5762bbacf168d47913135da68bc6b68d4544045741033d2ce.gif

  • Izzy

    Super impressed she wrote a full pleading on a napkin. Can’t wait for the Legally Blonde spoof!

  • Maximus

    As somebody with a single semester of legal education, I’m fairly sure that I’m qualified to be Kozinski’s replacement under the standards of the current administration.

    • Scrapple

      But since you’re a dude fucker, you’d also be disqualified by the bigotry of the current administration.

      • Maximus

        And I don’t even have the decency to hide it; my boyfriend and I are always holding hands and kissing in public. I’m also an atheist and a registered Democrat. I would be such a fierce judge, though. You know that I would bedazzle the shit out of those black robes.

        • Scrapple

          You can still judge, Judy. But off the bench. For now.

          And seeing you actually write the words “my boyfriend” makes me think of when they do the closeup of the Grinch’s heart and you see how enlarged it became. I can even hear Luther’s Power of Love/Love Power playing in the background.

          • Maximus

            How dare you insinuate that I’ve undergone personal and emotional growth? I have an image to maintain!

          • Scrapple

            Your image has been tainted. Tainted Love.

          • Maximus

            “Tainted Love” is a decent song, but I prefer “Perineal Love.”

          • Scrapple

            This is when I start humming the lyrics to “Tongue Song.” The version by Strings, not Trina.

        • Me2

          I want pictures of the robes when you’re done. Such potential fabulousness has to be shared with the universe.

          • Maximus

            I’ll have one of my social media-savvy clerks post a pic on the official Instagram account.

        • A.C.

          You are otherwise involved? Does a certain someone, with the initials CH, know this?

          • Maximus

            My now-ex and I broke up, and Colton is engaged to somebody else, so I’m totally single. Finding a psychologically stable, emotionally and sexually available, affectionate, empathetic, caring, romantic, wholesome, responsible, educated, moral, employed, fully gay man from a good family is not an easy task.

  • Lance

    FREE MY BAE!

  • goosegui
  • Maximus

    It scares me. I hope to litigate in the federal courts one day, and I would absolutely lose my mind if I found myself before a grossly unqualified, uninformed, prejudiced/discriminatory judge. Unlike all of the financial, labor, and environmental regulations that Trump is scrapping, there’s no potential for judicial appointments to simply be reversed by a Democratic president and/or a Democrat-controlled Congress. A federal judge has to seriously fuck up just to get impeached, let alone convicted and removed from the bench.

    • JStar377

      Same. Fed Courts are the only way to go. I actually just took my fed court final. Kozinski just stepped down after the threat of a judicial inquiry so maybe there is hope afterwards. Of course if the Senate flips then the game changes. Until then we just have to hope Senator Kennedy keeps his spine and knocks the worst nominees out. Good luck with law school!

      • Maximus

        A Democrat-controlled Senate would be a glorious thing. I don’t know whose spine Sen. Kennedy has been borrowing recently—the RNC requires a politician to offer up his/her spine to special interest donors as a condition of accepting the party’s nomination—but I certainly hope that he won’t be returning it any time soon.

        Thanks! Good luck to you as well!

      • A.C.

        Interesting, I just gave my Federal Courts and Jurisdiction exam make up just a while ago and I swear that my students leave my class with just the opposite attitude. Kudos on nearing completion of your training, but I also trust, if not hope, that soon enough you will find that the far more rewarding litigation experience will be had in State Courts, not Federal. Save Appellate practice (which I love) there simply is no substitute for the amount of expertise and practical learning you gain in a State Court.

        • JStar377

          Thank you! Very Excited to be done. Based on my rather limited experience, the quality of state courts although often bemoaned probably depends on which state you are in. Here in the great state of Texas there are many great things. State courts are not one of them. I’ve had the chance to appear many times at the district level and it is basically the wild west. I have not had much appellate experience except helping to write a writ of mandamus before the Texas Supreme Court. That was fun, but the TSC makes some pretty wacky decisions. I think the only way I will practice state law is to help strike down the unconstitutional ones which will inevitably require the use of federal courts notwithstanding abstention requirements. Luckily there are at least a few ones lying around.

    • A.C.

      As someone who practices in both Federal and State Courts, believe me, you are “bedazzled” by the prestige but you would much rather practice in State Court. The process is far more efficient, the judges are far more experienced considering their case load (their jurisdictional mandates are broader), and you build a rapport with Court staff that serves a crafty lawyer like myself in unimaginable but countless ways. I do prefer Appellate argument on the federal level – the more involved the Court the better.

      • Maximus

        I’m pretty sure that I failed one of my final exams (I don’t do well on multiple choice questions or timed essays, even when I’ve studied hard and know the material very well) so it might be a moot issue!…… Please excuse me while I go have a mini panic attack.

        • A.C.

          I am quite sure that you did not fail your examination. Your panic is likely test anxiety hangover. I see it every semester and students rarely perform as poorly as they believe they have.

          I certainly understand an aversion to multiple choice and timed writing examinations but few classes in lawschool will offer an alternative (legal writing and oral advocacy being notable exceptions). More importantly, that is the entire composition of the bar examination – multiple choice questions and times writing. If you plan to take it in New York know that that test is the veritable crucible. It is best you learn more techniques that will help you to better navigate these exams and allow you to truly showcase what we as professor know you know. If you need any help in that regard do not hesitate to ask.

          • Maximus

            I didn’t think that anxiety was my issue, but after reading your comment, I started combing through the empirical literature on test anxiety, academic performance, cognitive theories, and treatment effectiveness. Test anxiety certainly seems to explain my experience with my final exams. In regard to a solution, it turns out that I just need a refresher on mindfulness and emotion regulation skills. I have clinical manuals on my bookshelf at home that contain the necessary info. Thanks for the insight!

  • Muller

    God, the other day I was thinking if there was an update regarding his case.
    There’s something that still make me come back for him; I know he’s a total gay4pay and I dont care about any these so called ‘actors’, but I can watch him fuck all day.
    I hate myself for caring so much.

    Hopefully, he learned his lesson.

  • HoratioCaine

    he’s going to rot in prison for the rest of his sentence and then he is going back to romania and he will never ever be allowed to enter this country again. i say good riddence. he’s getting his just deserts.

  • Hot Twink

    Well, isn’t that just convenient, not to mention ironic… the judge was wanting to lay down his dick instead of his gavel…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e7693202413016809ba8e386629f9decca4a38fd833a7919c41318c256f19507.gif

  • A.C.

    Our judiciary, like all of our national institutions, are far more resilient than we give them credit for being and any one Presidency cannot undo that. I lament the Post Bork era where the political ideology of a justice became fodder for consideration. The standard was always qaulification.
    Now the most noble of the three branches has devolved into a political cesspit where precedent has no more value than the paper opinions are printed on; if that. What we as lawyers have come to know is that political persuasion is not a complete predictor of judicial philosophy – reference Earl Warren or a spate of Justices on individual cases. I do not appreciate doctrinaire justices, just ones that show that they know the law and can fairly apply it.

    As for a motion in limine or younger abstention, I am still surprised by how many seasoned attorneys mocked this unlearned nominee and cannot produce a decent motion of that type themselves or recognize when abstention is necessary. That comes from litigation experience, which that nominee clearly did not have. That was the greater sin.

  • PreludeToA

    is this gif from jarek and curtis?

    • Zachary Sire

      Jarek and Ryan

  • Ninja0980