[UPDATED] Rentboy.com Raided By Feds, CEO And Six Employees Arrested

Posted August 25, 2015 by with 191 comments


[This post is being updated continually below.]

Federal agents have raided the New York offices of Rentboy.com, the largest online male escort service used by sex workers and gay porn stars worldwide, and six employees were arrested, including Rentboy CEO Jeffrey Hurant.

Update 1: Str8UpGayPorn can confirm that in addition to Hurant, employees Sean Van Sant, Hawk Kincaid, Coco Lopez, and Eli Lewis (a performer and Rentboy himself) were also arrested and charged. Lewis’ arrest is perhaps the most perplexing considering his relatively low-level position with the company as a social media coordinator, not to mention the fact that he left that position over one year ago and is not currently a Rentboy employee.

The implications here are obviously massive, as countless gay porn stars and sex workers earn their livings offering services via Rentboy. As of post time, the Rentboy.com website itself has been taken down, as the government has now taken control of the domain.

The charges to be filed against Hurant, Van Sant, Kinkaid, Lopez, Lewis and two other Rentboy employees involve the so-called “Travel Act,” which prohibits the promotion of interstate prostitution. (An earlier report had indicated that money laundering charges would also be filed, but that was apparently an error.)

Update 2: Here’s the government’s press release with more details on the investigation and charges. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison.

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Rentboy just made the mainstream news last week for its Colby Keller college scholarship contest, and the online escort service regularly makes headlines after its annual awards show in New York (The Hookies) and various parties around the world (Hustlaball). In short, they’ve never tried to hide the services they provide and facilitate, so it’s unclear why the government decided to act now.

Also unclear: Will the names of the thousands of men who’ve hired escorts be revealed when this goes to trial? Rentboy is extremely strict when it comes to confidentiality, but the government has no obligation to protect anyone who, by their definition, has engaged in illegal activities.

Video from the raid:

Update 3:

Here’s the government’s full complaint against Rentboy, which cites the escort page of Eli Lewis (a former Rentboy employee who was arrested due to his work as Rentboy’s social media coordinator last year), as well as the escort pages for performers Ryan Raz and Killian James (who were not arrested or charged):

Update 4:

If you’re wondering about the timing of this raid and the arrests (Rentboy has been in business for over 15 years), this tweet from Boston Globe columnist Michael Brodeur says a lot:

tweetUpdate 5: All of the Rentboy employees arrested in New York today have been released on bond. Given that this case is pending trial, Eli Lewis has informed Str8UpGayPorn that he’s “not allowed to say much right now.”


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