NCSF Media Update -- September 3

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National Coalition for Sexual Freedom -- Media Update
September 3, 2007

1. Bondage case in final stages
2. A night of S&M ends in death. What happened - and who's responsible?
3. A trial like no other
4. "Mistress Gorgeous" busted for sex crime
5. Swingers sexploits
6. Why Lap Dances In Nashville Are Illegal But Group Sex Isn't


Bondage case in final stages
by John Mangalonzo
The Burlington Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa)
September 2, 2007

A bizarre case against a 62-year-old Sperry man that includes lust, mind-control games, extortion, dual personalities and blackmail is expected to see its final stages Tuesday pending the acceptance of a plea offer placed on the negotiating table by Des Moines County prosecutors.

Thomas George Koehler, 10413 Stoney Hollow Road, is charged with extortion, but has maintained his innocence. In December, he entered a written plea of not guilty in Des Moines County District Court. Since then, though, the case has seen a turbulent series of legal maneuvering.

Assistant county attorney Lisa Taylor said Friday that prosecutors have offered a plea deal they believe will work for both sides. She declined to disclose the particulars.

Koehler's alleged fall from grace was a slow, painful and degrading chapter in the life of a Burlington woman.

The woman told Des Moines County sheriff's investigators she met Koehler via the Internet earlier last year. The two met in person in August of that year and started dating soon after. That relationship lasted five weeks.

After ending the relationship, the woman received text messages from a person who identified himself as "Jim" and said he was a friend of Koehler's. The woman remembered Koehler had talked about Jim as someone with high connections. Initially, Jim told the woman she should have been more caring to Koehler.

Those messages quickly turned threatening when Jim told the woman Koehler had given him bondage photos and videos of her, which he would send to everybody in her e-mail address book, including her former husband, unless she did what she was told. She was to check in with Jim via text messages, among other things.

According to court files, Jim was aware the woman was going through a child-custody battle with her ex-husband, and the photos could be used against her. The woman also feared her employer would get the photos.

Soon, Jim's mind games to gain control over her escalated, the woman told investigators. He demanded she perform sexual acts with Koehler involving being tied up and tortured.

After refusing the request for sex, Jim threatened to have the woman kidnapped, according to court files.

In October, the woman's former husband received the compromising photos. The ex-husband told investigators he had been getting e-mail messages seeking information about his ex-wife. Whoever e-mailed him, he told deputies, claimed his ex-wife had a sadomasochism fetish.


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A night of S&M ends in death. What happened - and who's responsible?
by Jeannie Greeley
Exhibit A News
September 1, 2007

There are only two people who know the real truth behind this story - and they're both dead.

Thirty-two-year-old Adrian Exley and Gary LeBlanc, a 48-year-old oil executive, met for sex in April 2006 after communicating online continents away from each other.

One would ultimately die of asphyxiation and be buried in a shallow grave in Rhode Island. In turn, the other would shoot himself in the head in a Wal-Mart parking lot in New Hampshire, leaving a suicide note with sketchy details only.

Had this been a "typical" heterosexual murder-suicide, it might have made headlines for a few days. But nothing about this story is typical - at least not for the average reader. It involves sexual behaviors that many people simply can't comprehend and fetishes that they might find titillating at best, and repugnant or frightening at worst. Clouding the story, meanwhile, is the murky issue of what constitutes consent when it comes to adult sexual behavior.

"Nobody ever intends to die in BDSM [bondage and discipline; sadism and
masochism] activities", says Denise McWilliams, director of public policy and legal affairs for the AIDS Action Committee in Massachusetts and a former lawyer for the New England Leather Alliance. "Anytime you engage in any activity that runs the risk of killing or seriously injuring somebody, both parties have some responsibility there".

More than a year after the men's encounter, lawyers for the estates of the deceased in the Exley-LeBlanc case are warring over culpability. Filed by Exley's estate in Superior Court in Salem, the suit charges the estate of LeBlanc with wrongful death as a result of negligence, recklessness and gross negligence.

Just what did Adrian Exley consent to when he flew from the United Kingdom to Boston to meet Gary LeBlanc? Was LeBlanc the risky sadist some have claimed he was? Or did two consenting adults simply take their sexual relations too far?

Much of what is known about this case has been gleaned from LeBlanc's suicide note, and from police reports and court documents in the wrongful-death suit. The complaint from Exley's estate paints the following picture:

Adrian Exley and Gary LeBlanc met through the website The two corresponded by e-mail, with LeBlanc using the screen name "Rubrman" and Exley going by "Studpup".

Throughout their communications, LeBlanc expressed a desire to completely dominate Exley, referring to him as "it" in e-mails and telling Exley that he wanted to "rebuild it [Exley] into a real subhuman".

According to the complaint, LeBlanc's profile on the website stated that he was seeking a person "bound, sealed in gear, plugged, tubed and under control. Essentially into no limits s/m and looking for a 24/7 encasement pig. FF, WS [white slave], BD [bondage], SM [sadomasochistic], full shaving, piercings and tattoos".

Exley agreed to visit LeBlanc to engage in "bondage/discipline and domination/submission sexual role playing".

Unbeknownst to Exley, the complaint states, LeBlanc had a reputation in the BDSM community as being an "extreme sadist" and "extreme edge player" who was unstable during his role-playing and inattentive to his bound "slaves".

His practices allegedly included "storage", or leaving a bound body unattended for an extended period of time. LeBlanc also allegedly administered narcotics to his "slaves" and performed medical procedures on them, including intubation and catheterization.

Exley arrived in the United States on April 20, 2006, and stayed at LeBlanc's home in Lynn. But when Exley's family members didn't hear from him for several days, they became concerned and contacted authorities in early May.

On May 5, 2006, state and local police went to LeBlanc's house and interviewed him. LeBlanc admitted to picking up Exley and engaging in sex play. But, he told investigators that Exley decided to leave early, so LeBlanc gave him $200 and dropped him off at the Swampscott train station on April 23, 2006.

At the time, LeBlanc showed police his basement, which contained closets with a variety of rubber suits and a playroom with heavy black rubber mats on the floor and black rubber covering the walls. The space also contained various sexual devices, restraining equipment and a hospital gurney covered in rubber, according to the complaint.

On June 21, 2006, state and local authorities executed a search warrant of LeBlanc's home and vehicles.

Two days later, LeBlanc put a gun to his head and ended his life, leaving a five-page confession that included the sentence: "I am responsible for a horrible tragedy that happened early Sunday morning on April 23rd".

Although the LeBlanc-Exley case is an extreme one, it has sparked much discussion in the BDSM community, with people questioning the boundaries of consent and the safety of their practices.

"It definitely has kind of a chilling effect", says Vivienne Kramer, president of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and an executive of the New England Leather Alliance. "But it also has a very divisive impact on the community because people are very, very opinionated about what happened. There are people out there that say, 'This is an example of extreme sport like bungee-jumping and rock climbing, and it was a terrible accident'. And there are other people that say, 'I've had experiences with this person and he was a violent predator'".

One thing is certain. The legal landscape can be a minefield when it comes to BDSM behaviors.

"All forms of S&M are completely illegal in every single state and municipality across the country", says Kramer. "Anyone is subject to arrest and prosecution at any time. That's just mind-boggling".

Unfortunately, she adds, "the people in our community think that it can't happen to them - and it can".

"There are laws on the books in Massachusetts that say you cannot own anyinstruments of self abuse, which basically is covering things like vibrators and dildos", says Kramer. "So, any sex shop in Massachusetts ... like Good Vibrations or Eros Boutique ... [is] illegal. Masturbation is considered self-abuse".

While BDSM practitioners note that these antiquated laws are enforced selectively, their bigger concern is the issue of assault and battery. Courts have held time and again that, despite consensual sadomasochistic behavior, individuals cannot agree to assault and battery.


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A trial like no other
by Shawna Morrison
The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, Va)
August 31, 2007

From the start, Bob Shell's case was about sex, drugs, adultery and a death, all of which was interesting enough.

And then the trial began.

The court proceedings would end up including testimony from medical and camera experts, models from across the country, even a former member of The Allman Brothers Band. And hours upon hours of pure pornography was shown to everyone in the courtroom as part of the evidence.

The trial was going to be about sex and drugs, Jonathon Venzie, Shell's lawyer, had told potential jurors. Shell, a then-56-year-old man, who had been married more than 30 years, fell in love with a 19-year-old -- a "little girl," Venzie often said.

But Shell wasn't on trial for adultery or for pornography, Venzie told them. Shell, in fact was on trial for causing the accidental death of model Marion Franklin, who died from a morphine overdose June 3, 2003, after a photo shoot in Shell's Radford studio.

Venzie told the jurors they might be disturbed by what they saw during the trial, but they couldn't be tempted to punish him for his lifestyle.

What may have been the most unusual part of the trial came in the third day of testimony, when jurors and others watched sexually explicit videos for almost four straight hours. Shell and Franklin had been working together to create a Web site, and the videos were shot as part of their work.

After they played, the trial recessed for the day. Hardly anyone made eye
contact as the courtroom cleared.

It was clear, too, that Shell isn't just a regular Joe, even though his photography studio, where many of the explicit bondage videos and photographs were taken, is at 239 W. Main St., not far from traditional Radford mainstays such as the Medicine Shoppe, the police station and several churches.

Shell is an internationally known and well-respected photographer.

Witnesses testified they had spent hundreds to thousands of dollars attending Shell's photography workshops.

Bob Story, who said he works at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and is also a photographer, testified that he had all Bob Shell's books, including those published under the pseudonym Edward Lee -- Shell's middle names.

"He's quite well-respected and often quoted in literature for his ability and style," Story said.

Shell said he stopped counting after he had published 26 books. He has written instructional manuals on photography, published a book of bondage photographs that has Franklin on the cover, even a book about dinosaurs.

Ann Marie Pacheco, a graceful blonde in a flowing spaghetti strap top, was one of six women who testified during the trial who said they had modeled for Shell. Four testified for the defense and two for the prosecution.

One said she had been photographed for Playboy. Another said Shell had paid her about $20,000 over the years she modeled for him.

Pacheco, who lives in Miami, said working with Shell was the "highlight of my career. It's really a privilege and an honor to have been able to model for him."


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"Mistress Gorgeous" busted for sex crime
by Michele McPhee
The Boston Herald
August 28, 2007

An S&M dungeon run by an Allston-Brighton couple allegedly trawling the Web for johns was busted yesterday by police as part of a citywide crackdown on Internet prostitution postings.

Kara Rogers, 27, aka "Mistress Gorgeous", and her husband Jacob Rogers, 29, were arrested yesterday for soliciting sex for pay on the Internet classified advertising site, police said.

"We had more and more people complaining in community meetings that strange men were lurking in their neighborhoods", BPD undercover detective Jimmy Fong told the Herald. "These guys were hanging around waiting for their appointments now that the Internet has brought prostitution inside".

Since the crackdown began, 40 illegal "massage parlors" and S&M dungeons in the area have been shut down, and at least 100 suspected prostitutes and johns have been arrested, Fong said.

"We use the Internet to try to get a handle on the prostitution problem. Many of the street workers have been pushed out", Fong said. "They are moving outside of the city".

Working undercover, Fong said he responded last week to a listing posted on craigslist that read "gorgeous female available to meet submissive men".

Kara Rogers, writing under the Web pseudonym "Miss Gorgeous", allegedly informed Fong she is paid $175 a half hour for virtually everything, including "spanking, role play, bondage, tease, bondage and toys".

A full hour of torture was $250, and an extra $50 earned a customer extra benefits, according to Fong.

"I have my limits", "Mistress Gorgeous" allegedly wrote in her ad.

Fong said that after Rogers allegedly solicited him for sex in person, citing her price, he left with the promise that he would return.

When the detective returned yesterday, he came armed with a search warrant.

Rogers and her husband, Jacob, were charged with sexual conduct for a fee and allowing a premise to be used for immoral purposes, according to a BPD report. A basket full of paddles and sex toys was seized as evidence, Fong said.


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Swingers sexploits
by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
The Chicago Tribune
August 24, 2007

Were it not for the hard-core porn flickering continuously on the TV, you might have thought it a regular house party. A DJ was spinning hip-hop. Guests chatted casually over a buffet of fried turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and bundt cake.

But the one-year anniversary bash this month for Tha Sex Kittens - a Chicago "adult social group" that includes couples, bisexual women and some single men - offered much more than dancing and dessert.

Venture upstairs to the designated sex rooms, and you could be in for a swing.

Though swingers play behind closed doors, the lifestyle is alive and well in the U.S. - and growing, thanks to the Internet. On weekend nights in the Chicago area, the sexually uninhibited can find parties where partner-sharing is the norm.

On the second floor, two "invitation-only" rooms with neatly made beds awaited couples seeking company for their sexual escapades. A separate "ladies only" room beckoned women with bisexual tendencies.

The third floor, a large lofted space with mattresses spread across the floor and a big swing hanging in the middle, was reserved for group sex.

After 2 a.m., partyers weren't allowed upstairs unless they de-robed.

To many, the mention of swingers calls to mind the 1970s "key parties," where married couples would swap partners based on whose house keys they fished out of a bowl.

Today, key parties have given way to swingers clubs, conventions and Web sites that make it easy for couples to connect with others in "The Lifestyle," as it's called, for threesomes, spouse swapping and any other sexual arrangements that strike their fancy. The annual Lifestyles Convention in Las Vegas this month drew some 2,200 people for a full weekend of swinging.

"All you have to do is look at the prevalence of adultery," said James Fleckenstein, president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Relationships, the Herndon, Va.-based foundation for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. "Some people are willing to come to terms with this natural tendency and say, 'Is there something we can do that will strengthen our relationship and not destroy it?'"

While there's no official number, an estimated 2 million to 4 million people in the U.S. participate in swinging, and the ranks have grown mostly because of the networking power of the Internet, Fleckenstein said.


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Why Lap Dances In Nashville Are Illegal But Group Sex Isn't
by P.J. Tobia
The Nashville Scene (Nashville, TN)
August 23, 2007

A large, doughy white woman is bent over naked on a bed in the middle of a small, stuffy room. Behind her a tall man with rangy limbs and a neatly trimmed handlebar mustache rams her with firm, staccato thrusts. His arms are covered in sailor tattoos and his hands dig into her full hips.

"Oh God", the woman cries out, her voice a high, thin tremolo.

The man is naked while she's wearing only a thin halter-top, pushed up past her small breasts, revealing a mass of white skin beneath. Her head is in the lap of another woman who is clothed and holding a plastic cup. The clothed woman sips out of the cup while laughing and talking with a man who, also fully clothed, is lying next to her.

This isn't the plot of a Ron Jeremy classic. This is the second floor of the Tennessee Social Club at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night. Downstairs, the dance floor is packed and half-naked women are grinding and kissing to T-Pain's "I'm in Love With a Stripper". Meanwhile, older couples, some partially naked, sit together with friends, watching the scenery while laughing or fondling each other's dates under the cocktail tables.

The club has been part of this city's sex culture for over 20 years. It's changed location a number of times, though now it can be found just off of Eighth Avenue South, across the street from a discount liquor store. It's a private club - meaning that you pay a $25 monthly membership fee and an additional door charge - but anyone can join.

But just down Eighth Avenue at another adult establishment, business isn't quite as good. While consenting adults engage in a bacchanalian orgy over at the social club or at nearby Minages, the ladies of Christie's Cabaret pole dance before an empty room.

"Look at this", the club's manager says, dejectedly. "Saturday night and I've got more dancers out here than customers".

What separates a business like Christie's from a place like the Tennessee Social Club? Just three letters: SOB.

Under Nashville's Sexually Oriented Business ordinance - which began being enforced last year - any strip club or cabaret must comply with a rigorous set of guidelines that limit everything from a dancer's proximity to a client (three feet) to the required height of a stage (at least 18 inches.) The SOB guidelines also require that dancers register with the city, have a criminal background check and get fingerprinted.

While most in the adult entertainment business think that some regulation is a necessity, almost everyone - from club owners to managers and especially dancers - feels that the SOB guidelines and enforcement are overly punitive and have decimated their businesses. In the past year alone, at least three strip clubs have been shut down because - those in the industry say - men don't want to pay to get into clubs where they can't have lap dances.

And these business owners become nearly apoplectic when it comes to the issue of equal enforcement - in other words, the strict regulation of strip clubs vs. no regulation of sex clubs who promote and facilitate the kind of behavior that the SOB laws were designed to prevent.

... businesses where actual sexual activity is happening - such as Minages or the Tennessee Social Club - are beyond the purview of the SOB board because they're private clubs. Jim Todd, a Nashville defense attorney appointed in 2005 by Mayor Bill Purcell to head the SOB board, isn't a religious zealot with a burning desire to stomp out sins of the flesh.


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