Operator of prostitution website myRedBook sentenced to federal prison
A Northern California man was sentenced Thursday to more than a year in federal prison for operating myRedBook, a website that offered prostitution services using explicit photos and graphic descriptions.
Ed Omuro, 53, of Mountain View, was ordered to serve 13 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for using a facility of interstate commerce with the intent to provide prostitution.
More than 50 teens advertised escort services on the website, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.
He pleaded guilty in December after agreeing to give up more than $1.28 million in cash and property. As part of a plea agreement, Omuro also forfeited the domain names for his websites, myRedBook and sfRedBook, which he ran from April 2010 to June 2014 before being shut down.
Omuro, who also went by “Red,” hosted advertisements by prostitutes who posted graphic photos with rates for services and explicit descriptions of sexual services offered in California, elsewhere in the United States as well as Canada. Advertisements were searchable by geographical locations.
Members of the website used acronyms to describe the sex acts.
While the advertisements were free, members could pay a fee so their post could be featured more prominently on the website. Customers could also access the website for free, but they had to pay for a membership to look at escort reviews, access enhanced search options and VIP forums.
“Was it educational? Absolutely. Was it also stimulating and fun? Of course. Did it grow into a profitable endeavor? Definitely; but it didn’t start out that way,” Omuro’s attorneys said.
He picked prostitution as a focus for the site because he had fondness for erotica, according to court documents.
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