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Thread: article in the NY Times

  1. #1
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    article in the NY Times

    MAR 9. SEP 2008 10:17 (EST)
    Sex Trade Monitors a Key Figure’s Woes
    J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

    In a little-known success story, TheEroticReview.com has come to
    dominate the country’s prostitution scene, which is increasingly
    migrating from the street corner to the Internet.

    But now the site’s founder, David Elms, is in jail awaiting trial in
    Los Angeles in a case unrelated to the site, leaving the fate of his
    influential underground world uncertain. In dozens of conversations
    and in postings on the Internet in recent weeks, prostitutes have
    expressed concern that if The Erotic Review goes offline it could
    hurt business. But in the same breath, many are rejoicing about the
    potential downfall of Mr. Elms.

    One escort agency that was banned from the site has accused Mr. Elms
    of antitrust violations, suggesting that he abuses his power over the
    sex trade. Other critics say he accepts, and sometimes demands, sex
    or money to promote certain women and agencies.

    He has denied the accusations.

    The Web site, which is still in operation, allows visitors to rank
    their experiences with prostitutes on a scale of 1 to 10, as well as
    to leave comments. It gets 500,000 to 1 million unique visitors each
    month, according to companies that track Web traffic.

    “He is the most influential man in the prostitution business in
    America,” said Jason Itzler, the former head of NY Confidential, an
    escort ring. Mr. Itzler was released from prison last year after
    serving 30 months for the attempted promotion of prostitution.

    Mr. Elms, 37, was jailed this month on accusations that he failed
    five drug tests since October, a violation of his probation from a
    2006 drug and gun conviction. If he is found to have violated his
    probation, he could be sentenced to four years in prison.

    Mr. Elms usually does not say much publicly about his Web site,
    asserting that reporters twist his words. But in an interview with
    MSNBC.com in 2006, Mr. Elms said that he started The Erotic Review in
    1999 because he wanted to empower the customers of prostitutes.

    “I was getting ripped off,” he said. “There was no way to hold people
    accountable for their actions.”

    The house in Hawthorne, Calif., where Mr. Elms lives is modest, with
    a well-kept yard. The only unusual signs are a surveillance camera
    over the porch and the late-model Mercedes sports car parked out
    front with the vanity license plate “Will She.”

    The Erotic Review works like many consumer review sites. Visitors to
    the site can look for prostitutes by city or area code and find
    contact information, personal Web sites, physical attributes like
    height and body type, and numeric rankings.

    More broadly, the Internet is changing prostitution. In recent years,
    thousands of prostitutes have posted their own Web sites, including
    their pictures and contact information. They are called Net walkers.
    The Internet, they say, has let them more easily reach clientele,
    particularly high-paying customers, and vet them.

    Robert Weisberg, a professor of criminal law at Stanford, said that
    prostitution promoted online — even if overtly advertised — might not
    pique law enforcement interest because the crime usually received
    little attention.

    Jodi Michelle Link, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who
    specializes in sex and vice crimes, said prosecuting Mr. Elms for his
    connection to The Erotic Review could be difficult for free speech
    reasons. She also said that the prostitutes who said they had been
    asked by Mr. Elms for sexual favors would have trouble making a
    criminal case against him because they could simply choose not to
    participate on his site.

    As The Erotic Review has become more popular, Mr. Elms has attracted
    criticism. In April, a lawyer for an escort service based in Phoenix,
    MystiqueUSA, wrote a letter to Mr. Elms threatening him with an
    antitrust lawsuit for banning the agency and its escorts from the site.

    “There is no question that your Erotic Review site clearly meets the
    legal standard of a unique facility whose use is essential to
    effectively compete in the upscale escort services market,” the
    lawyer wrote. The letter accused the Web site of favoring escort
    agencies that did not want competition.

    Officials at MystiqueUSA would not comment. But on the home page of
    its Web site, it expresses regret over the assertions in the letter
    and apologizes to Mr. Elms.

    Ms. Link, the deputy district attorney, said the criminal charges
    against Mr. Elms stemmed from a night in 2006 when the police were
    called to a hotel where they found him with 3.8 grams of cocaine and
    a loaded semi-automatic weapon. A prostitute was there and said Mr.
    Elms had forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, but there was
    not enough evidence to press charges on that accusation, Ms. Link said.




    So what do you guys think? I thought this article could generate some interesting discussion. If the sitew goes down how will it affect other sites such as MERC?

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  2. #2
    It's a whole new ballgame
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    Quote Originally Posted by naughtylady
    If the site goes down how will it affect other sites such as MERC?
    Ronnie, I'd wonder, rather, how it affects merb. Merc barely exists.
    The mounties always get their man.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by naughtylady
    So what do you guys think? I thought this article could generate some interesting discussion.
    Mr. Elms stemmed from a night in 2006 when the police were
    called to a hotel where they found him with 3.8 grams of cocaine and
    a loaded semi-automatic weapon. A prostitute was there and said Mr.
    Elms had forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint
    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    Fred....Fred!!!! put the gun down!!!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by naughtylady
    If the sitew goes down how will it affect other sites such as MERC?

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    No, it cannot affect the other sites since they exist and evolve without the need of TheEroticReview.com. When a website dies, another one just emerge.
    Remember Canbest? That was once a very hot web site. In went down, and others like the blue and the green boards emerged.
    Last edited by montreal_monk01; 09-10-2008 at 06:59 PM.
    DENISE MILANI REDEFINES HOTNESS! !!

  5. #5
    When I first started in the hobby, that website was a very good resource. They protect clients by claiming each review is a fantasy or story and entirely fictional. No clue if that passes legal muster. As for this alleged favoritism and requesting sexual favors, I had never heard of any of that while I was part of that community. TER covers most of the US, and I doubt he could seek favors from that many people and agencies!
    Last edited by rollingstone; 09-10-2008 at 07:29 PM.

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