Posted Apr 13, 2011 02:10 pm CDT
For months, a Florida homeless advocate wondered why so many local men seemed to be walking around a St. Petersburg park with black eyes, split lips and limps.
Finally someone told him: They were being beaten and whipped by attractive, sometimes scantily clad women for fetish videos, for payments of $25 to $50 per 12-minute episode, reports the St. Petersburg Times.
Now the Southern Legal Counsel has filed suit on behalf of two alleged victims of the practice, seeking a court order prohibiting further violence against vulnerable adults that the complaint contends is really not consensual and seeking damages for medical expenses and emotional distress.
The suit, which was filed April 1, also contends that the so-called beatdowns violate a state hate crimes law intended to protect the homeless from targeted violence, according to the Associated Press.
The suit names as defendants Jeff Williams of Shefights.net, J.P. Florida Productions and six unidentified women, the Times reports.
Williams says the plaintiffs did indeed consent to be physically abused, as is demonstrated by the liability releases they signed and the fact that they participated on multiple occasions in fetish filmings.
“These men are crack addicts and will say anything for money,” he tells the newspaper.
Courthouse News provides a copy of the Pinellas County Circuit Court complaint (PDF).