U.S. Opposes Wentworth Acquittal, Decides to Appeal Dropped Count

U.S. Opposes Wentworth Acquittal, Decides to Appeal Dropped Count
Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — U.S. attorneys have filed their opposition to gay porn star Jarec Wentworth’s motion to enter a judgment of acquittal.

Wentworth this summer was convicted on six counts of extorting Donald Burns, a multimillionaire Magic Jack exec who admittedly had a penchant for sexual affairs with gay porn stars. The star who worked on SeanCody and Men.com productions allegedly threatened to expose Burns’ "sexual liaisons" online.

Earlier this month, Wentworth’s public defenders asked the federal judge who heard the case to enter a judgment of acquittal for him, noting that evidence presented in court was insufficient to sustain a guilty verdict by a jury.

But now, not only does the government want the court to deny any judgment of acquittal for Wentworth, it also seeks a review of a pretrial ruling that dismissed the seventh count of the government's first superseding indictment against him.

The government last week filed an appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over U.S. District Judge John Walter’s decision to dismiss the seventh count in Wentworth’s indictment.

Walters tossed that count against Wentworth because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Johnson vs. U.S. that held that criminal statutes that impose sentencing enhancements for violent felonies are unconstitutionally vague and violate due process. Wentworth had a gun in possession when he was apprehended by the FBI.

Justice Department attorneys’ opening brief in the appeal to add the seventh count to Wentworth’s criminal case is due on Dec. 7. A hearing over the motion to enter a judgment of acquittal has been slated Aug. 21.

View 30-page filing in opposition to acquittal