The Republican presidential candidate — like all candidates in recent history — has had his life turned upside-down in an American tradition that’s at best called “vetting” and at worst, “invasion of privacy.” The reality is somewhere in the middle.
One line of investigation has led to an after-hours 1990 arrest with a man named Angel Barrios in a public park well-known for gay cruising.
And while it’s completely speculative to suggest the two were there to get frisky — though Trump supporters, as you can imagine, are salivating at the chance to cast Rubio as a closeted homosexual — there’s no guess-work needed in connecting Barrios, decades later, with one of the most notorious gay porn rings in Florida’s history.
But let’s start with what we know about the arrest.
On May 23, 1990, an 18-year-old Rubio was with Barrios and another teen at Alice C. Wainwright Park after dark when they were detained. “People went out there to smoke illegal substances, have sex, drink,” a police spokesman told the Post in a story published last Friday.
The teens were booked that night around 9:30 p.m., thought the misdemeanor charges were later dropped. Rubio and Barrios went on to share a townhouse while Rubio attended Santa Fe Community College.
Fast-forward fifteen years, and Rubio is sworn in as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, reflecting his meteoric rise in the state’s Republican party.
During that time, Barrios worked in property management. In 2007, he had his own experience in the spotlight when it was revealed a house owned by his family was being used by a website called CocoDorm.com as a gay porn webcam location.
Dozens of muscular black and Hispanic men lived at the house, earning a $1,200 monthly payment plus room and board to have their lives recorded. Scheduled orgies were mandatory.
The story was brought to light by this NBC 6 report:
Following the report, the City of Miami sued Barrios for illegally running an adult business in a residential area.
Then Barrios sued the city in federal court — with CocoDorm.com as a co-plaintiff.
They argued that since the webcam footage was being consumed off-site, there was nothing illegal about the business as it was all protected under the First Amendment.
Ultimately the feds sided with the city, and Barrios’ brief stint in the gay porn industry was over.