When last we left the saga of government overreach that is the Rentboy.com crackdown, things weren’t looking good.
Back in August of last year, Hurant and six of his employees were arrested during a sting operation in Manhattan conducted by Homeland Security with help from the NYPD.
The site’s former CEO, Jeffrey Hurant, 51, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on a charge of promoting prostitution, as well as two other money laundering charges.
The indictment did not include the six arrested employees, and the criminal complaint against them remained pending.
Today it’s being reported that the charges against them have been dropped. It’s a welcomed bit of good news in a case that has been heavily weighed down by questionable motives and tactics at the government level.
Let’s hope more good news follows as Hurant is now engaged in plea negotiations with the feds.
“The government’s charges against Mr. Hurant are unwarranted. He ran his business openly for nearly 20 years, and it makes no sense to single him out for criminal prosecution,” Hurant’s lawyer, Michael Tremonte said.
Even the New York Times noted in an op-ed that the site, founded in 1996, “provided sex workers with a safer alternative to street walking or relying on pimps,” adding, “Federal authorities should consider whether continuing to spend time and money turning the website’s operators into felons is worthwhile, while far more serious crimes, including human trafficking and sexual exploitation, go unpunished.”