Judge to Weigh Whether Jarec Wentworth Is Eligible for Bail
LOS ANGELES — Gay porn star Jarec Wentworth, who pleaded not guilty to federal extortion charges last week, will be back in court on Thursday morning for a bail review hearing.
Wentworth, who has been in detention for nearly a month, currently is being housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center after he was indicted by a federal grand jury.
Wentworth was accused of extorting $500,000 and an Audi R8 worth $180,000 from an individual identified only as "D.B." by threatening to expose his “sexual liaisons” on Twitter.
The popular gay porn star, who has credits with Men.com and Sean Cody, faces more than 15 years in prison, if convicted.
It is unclear whether the court will even grant bail to Wentworth, particularly because a loaded weapon — a Magnum 357 revolver along with sex rounds of ammunition — was found in his car when FBI agents arrested him on the extortion charges.
Last week, Wentworth’s counsel in the case, two federal public defenders, asked the court to allow bail, stating that it would be unlikely Wentworth would be a flight risk because the Justice Department was able to freeze all of his bank accounts after he was arrested.
D.B., according to a federal complaint, asked for the FBI to get involved after he was initially fleeced out of $500,000 and the Audi.
After the FBI got involved, Wentworth allegedly later increased his demands to D.B., asking for $1 million in cash, a motorcycle and a two-bedroom condo in Los Angeles.
As days went by, FBI agents, who acted as D.B.’s associates, arranged a meeting with Wentworth at a Manhattan Beach Starbucks to hand over cash and title to the Audi.
Wentworth originally had planned for the meeting to take place at the Grove, a shopping destination in the Park La Brea community of Los Angeles.
But D.B., at the insistence of FBI agents, chose the Starbucks as an alternative.
Wentworth told D.B. at the time that he was concerned about the change in venue and that he was sending a “friend.”
“I don’t wanna walk up there and fuckin’ all of a sudden it’s the fed or something or some bullshit. Something happens and I’m fucked,” Wentworth said in a telephone conversation with D.B., according to the FBI agents.
At the Manhattan Beach Starbucks, Wentworth was arrested and placed in handcuffs by at least three FBI agents.
The agents later discovered that the gay porn star had an acquaintance accompanying him at Starbucks, awaiting in a late-model Ford with the gun.
That individual claimed he did not actively assist in the alleged extortion scheme, but admitted that he knew of it and further informed agents that Wentworth deposited $400,000 into a Wells Fargo savings account and obtained a Wells Fargo Euro currency card to facilitate travel to and in Europe.
In another pretrial development, federal prosecutors have been ordered to hand over all evidence in the case to Wentworth's defense counsel by noon on Wednesday.