Jonathan Crutchley, founding partner and owner of the world’s largest gay brands that includes Manhunt and Jack’d, has joined the advisory board of The National Coalition of Rent Boys & Allies, an organization advocating for the legal rights of male escort workers. The group formed in response to the August 25th raid on Rentboy.com in New York City by the NYPD and Homeland Security.
“It is no business of the government at any level— be it federal, state, or local— to enter the bedrooms of consenting adults and tell them what they may or may not do within that private setting,” asserts Mr. Crutchley on his decision to join NCORB. Last week, he made a financial contribution to the legal defense team representing Jeffrey Hurant, founder of Rentboy.com. “Such matters are certainly not the business of the Department of Homeland Security, which was created after September 11, 2001 to protect citizens from foreign terrorists.”
Federal agents joined the NYPD in shutting down Rentboy on the assertion that Rentboy was using interstate commerce to violate local New York laws.
Mr. Crutchley is not alone in believing that federal agents violated the constitutional rights of U. S. citizens. The editorial board of The New York Times even called the raid ‘peculiar’.
“I founded my company in the name of individual privacy and sexual freedom,” Mr. Crutchley continues. “In the name of individual liberty, the Federal government needs to do the job it was given to do by the Constitution.”
The National Coalition of Rent Boys & Allies was created as a not for profit corporation by attorney Norm Kent, a well known First Amendment advocate.
“The Department of Homeland Security has initiated a questionable legal action which has terrorized thousands of men who were lawfully trading their time and companionship for legitimate compensation,” said Mr. Kent via a press release issued earlier this week. “There is a need for these men to have a collective voice and open forum to speak out against the raid and for their rights.”
NCORB aims to fill the need. Its website contains a media outpost of news articles, columns, reactions and information about the Rentboy raid. The site will also soon provide unfettered access to legal advisories and ‘know your rights’ forums for rent boys remaining in the industry, as well as regular updates on the status of the federal case against the principals of the Rent boy prosecution.
“Public pressure may not stop the prosecution, but it will certainly let the US attorney know where the LGBT community stands on targeting our population and our partners,” says Mr. Kent.
Mr. Crutchley joins Mr. Howard Andrew of Fab Scout Entertainment, an agency that represents many of the world’s leading gay adult talent, on the advisory board of NCORB.