A 69-year-old gay man said he was assaulted and robbed by someone claiming to be a male escort and three accomplices on May 28 in a room at the Capital Hilton Hotel rented by the alleged escort.
The man, who spoke only on condition that he not be identified, said he responded to an ad placed by the man claiming to be the escort on the site Rentboy.com. He said he called a phone number listed in the ad and the person answering the phone arranged for him to meet the escort at a room at the Capital Hilton.
When he arrived, the man said, the person who let him in the room was not the same person whose photograph appeared in the ad. He said he immediately told the person he wanted to cancel the arrangement.
“He told me I had to pay him,” the man said. When he refused to pay, three other men rushed out of the bathroom and began to assault him, the man said. Before allowing him to leave, the four perpetrators took $300 in cash from his wallet and one of his credit cards, he said.
He said he decided against reporting the incident to police because he’s mistrustful about the way police would handle the situation. He said he reported the incident to the hotel’s front desk staff.
Sgt. Matt Mahl, acting supervisor of the D.C. police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, said the GLLU would look into the matter but could not make an arrest unless a victim comes forward to press charges against the person or persons who assaulted and robbed the gay man. Mahl said others who may have been victimized in a similar situation should contact the GLLU at 202-727-5427.
Sean Van Sant, director of the New York City-based Rentboy.com, said he takes immediate steps to remove an ad for an escort when he receives reliable information that the escort has engaged in conduct similar to that described by the gay man in D.C. Van Sant said someone from D.C. called his office to report a similar type of complaint, but the gay man who spoke to the Blade about the Capital Hilton incident said he didn’t call Rentboy.com to report the incident.
“My guess is these people are doing this to others,” said the gay man. “This is clearly a scam.”
Greg Brown, the Capital Hilton’s general manager, said the hotel staff offered to call D.C. police when the gay man reported the incident to the front desk.
“He implored the staff not to call police and left,” Brown said.