A website operator has been sentenced to 13 months in prison for facilitating prostitution and has agreed to forfeit nearly 1.3 million in cash and property. It's thought to be the first such conviction anywhere in the U.S.
Eric Omuro, also known as Red, 53, of Mountain View, California, published a site called myRedBook.com. It hosted advertisements from prostitutes containing photos, descriptions of their services and prices.
Omuro pleaded guilty in December and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California to using a facility of interstate commerce with the intent to facilitate prostitution.
Omuro admitted that members of his website and prostitutes typically used acronyms for sex acts, which were defined in graphic detail in the website’s “Terms and Acronyms” section. While prostitutes could post advertisements for free, myRedBook.com offered additional options for a fee.
For example, prostitutes could pay a fee to have their advertisement featured more prominently on the website. Similarly, customers could access myRedBook.com for free. If a customer purchased a membership, however, the customer obtained early and enhanced access to prostitute reviews, enhanced prostitute review search options and access to additional VIP forums, among other things.
According to an affidavit submitted in connection with the sentencing hearing, the FBI identified more than 50 juveniles who were advertised on myRedBook for the purpose of prostitution.