With the three founders of Digital Entertainment Network and their assets at least temporarily out of reach, attorneys in some sex molestation lawsuits against the trio have turned their sights on related parties.
One suit filed last year has been updated to include claims against three former directors of the defunct Santa Monica Internet company, alleging that they knew or should have known that DEN founder Marc Collins-Rector and other executives were taking advantage of teen employees. Directors Jeffrey Sachs, Mitchell Blutt and David Neuman deny wrongdoing, said their attorney, Timothy Toohey.
A separate suit filed last month by a 19-year-old man names as defendants both Collins-Rector and a former manager for models, Jason Charles Otto. In 1997, Otto’s West Hollywood-based Otto Model Management sent the then-15-year-old to audition for an acting job, the suit says, where Collins-Rector intimidated him into having sex.
The suit says Otto and his company had responsibility for the boy’s welfare and should have known of Collins-Rector’s behavior.
Attempts to locate Otto for comment were unsuccessful. He has sold his business, now called Otto Models, according to an employee.
The employee, who declined to give her name, said she had arranged the boy’s audition and that neither she nor Otto had any idea there might be a problem.
“Not only did we not meet Collins-Rector, we never even met the kid,” she said. “Everyone here is just appalled.”
Collins-Rector and former executives Chad Shackley and Brock Pierce left the Los Angeles area as DEN collapsed, and the FBI has been tracking their movements as it investigates.
Collins-Rector and Shackley sold the Encino mansion where the three lived, and an attorney that won a $4.5-million default judgment for former DEN employees has been unable to locate any assets to seize.