The former CEO of a once-popular male escort service website who pleaded guilty last year to promoting prostitution was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday by a judge who said she wanted to send a deterrent message even though she knows the business helped people.
Jeffrey Hurant, who ran the Rentboy.com site, which billed itself as the largest site for male escorts in the world, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Margo K. Brodie in Brooklyn.
"The very thing that is illegal — there is no question it did a lot of good," Brodie said of the website as she also announced a $7,500 fine. "Almost two decades of committing a crime. That can't go unpunished."
Hurant defended the business he said he ran openly for 20 years, saying many sex workers had told him that the website enabled them to work safely and independently after years of laboring in deplorable conditions.