In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security raided the headquarters of the self-proclaimed “original and world’s largest male escort site,” Rentboy.com. The cause was a complaint of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act and on charges of promoting prostitution.
The CEO of Rentboy, Jeffrey Hurant, pleaded guilty to these prostitution charges and was sentenced to six months in prison. Why is this background important? Cockburn notes that Sam Brinton is one of the Biden administration’s newest diversity hires at the Department of Energy and wrote an op-ed defending Rentboy.com when it was raided.
In his defense of the...

In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security raided the headquarters of the self-proclaimed “original and world’s largest male escort site,” Rentboy.com. The cause was a complaint of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act and on charges of promoting prostitution.

The CEO of Rentboy, Jeffrey Hurant, pleaded guilty to these prostitution charges and was sentenced to six months in prison. Why is this background important? Cockburn notes that Sam Brinton is one of the Biden administration’s newest diversity hires at the Department of Energy and wrote an op-ed defending Rentboy.com when it was raided.

In his defense of the website, Brinton claims:

For some, working as a paid escort through Rentboy has been a lifeline out of homelessness, despair, and the dangers of living on the street… [T]he raid on its headquarters has thrown many gay, bisexual, and transgender young adults into turmoil as their main source of income has been ripped away due to irresponsible and archaic views of sex work.

“Irresponsible and archaic views of sex work.” Cockburn wonders what kinds of views Brinton might be talking about. The written indictment on Rentboy might have some answers, especially when it comes to underage escorts.

Although the linked article at Reason magazine featuring the indictment talks about the overzealousness of the Department of Justice, there is still much concern over what the escort site does with underaged people. The indictment itself reads:

In one case, after an escort agency failed to provide photo identification for an escort, a RENTBOY.COM employee advised the escort agency that he had deleted photographs with the face of the subject escort, but left the advertisement online and left photographs that showed only the escort’s body.

In another case, after a different escort agency refused to provide identification for several escorts who appeared underage, the same RENTBOY.COM employee suggested to [him] to crop the faces of those super young escorts. RENTBOY.COM employees did not report these escorts or the escort agencies to law enforcement or to any organization dedicated to helping exploited children.

Later, the indictment says:

RENTBOY.COM employees reviewing Asia advertisements were also told by the defendant JEFFREY HURANT and other RENTBOY.COM managers to apply lesser standards in doing age verification of Asia-market advertisements. As was summarized in one email, “In Asia ok to approve them…unless you see a baby… :)”

In hindsight, this twist shouldn’t be surprising. The term “rent boy” is a colloquialism meaning “a boy or young man who has sex with men for money.”

This is only one of a few things that Brinton has come under fire for. Others include literally teaching about the “physics of kink” to MIT students and speaking to a fetish community that loves latex dogs (be warned: clicking there won’t be pretty). When it comes to the Biden administration’s hiring practices, however, Cockburn thinks this is a perfect fit.