Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Virginia Landlord Trades Sex For Rent and Tenants Get Charged With Extortion

Sex-for-rent scheme leads to jail

In these tough economic times, Fairfax County police say it's not unheard of for a tenant to offer a landlord sexual favors in exchange for a month's rent. But when the scheme extends to extorting the landlord by threatening to tell his wife, that's when people get arrested.

Fairfax police said that two 20-something women living in an apartment on Beekman Place, just off Route 1 near Fort Belvoir, called their landlord recently and informed him they were unable to pay the rent. "The suspects suggested they would perform sexual acts in place of the rent," according to an affidavit by Fairfax Detective Mike Holland filed in Fairfax Circuit Court Tuesday.

"The victim agreed," Holland added.

So the landlord went over to the apartment, in the Sacramento neighborhood, and was instructed to go into the bedroom and remove his clothing, which he did, Holland wrote.
One woman "then did a slow dance while removing some of her clothing," then jumped on the bed, "straddling the victim."

The other woman came into the room and snatched the man's clothes and cell phone, according to Holland. Talk about killing the mood. The landlord got up, found his clothes and phone and left.

Next, police allege, the women called the landlord and advised him they had photos and video of the bedroom encounter. "Unless he gave them $500 per week and free rent," Holland wrote, "they would give a copy of the DVD to his wife." The women then sent their landlord a naked photo of himself on the bed, according to Holland.

The man went to the police, and last week Holland had him make a call to his tenants, which the detective monitored. In that call, one of the women boasted to the man that "several recording devices were used to capture the event," and they were "stored on several electronic devices within her residence," Holland wrote.

But, the woman made a new offer: If the man gave the women "$11,000 in cash, she would give him the recordings and go away."

No deal, said the man.

On Tuesday morning, police raided the apartment in the 8600 block of Beekman Place and seized CDs, DVDs, a camcorder, a still camera, and some marijuana, court records show. The women were arrested.

Jessica Testin, 23, and Rachel Beloff, 26, were both charged with a felony threat to extort money, which carries a possible prison sentence of up to 10 years. Officer Bud Walker, a Fairfax police spokesman, said the women were California residents, but did not know why they were living in southern Fairfax.

"This is not the only occasion we have seen this," Walker said of the sex-for-rent offer.
However, he added, "I don't know of any other cases where it involved extortion."
Both women were being held in the Fairfax jail Tuesday without bond.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman | August 17, 2010; 3:14 PM ET

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