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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Model Says Rapist Snared Her on Internet

MIAMI (CN) - A model claims that a rapist lured her to an "audition" through the BlackPlanet.com website, then drugged and raped her and sold the video as pornography on the Internet. She says the rapist, Emerson Callum, and his accomplice, Lavont Flanders, have both been criminally indicted, and "had been arrested for rapes of other women" they also drugged.

Jane Doe No. 11 sued six corporate defendants and two people: Emerson Callum aka Edward Callum, and Lavont Flanders. She says Callum's company, defendant Miami Vibes Enterprises, is an adult video production company.

She claims that Callum and Flanders, "through the use of a false identity and deceit, contacted Jane Doe on the website BlackPlanet.com, drugged and raped Jane Doe, and distributed video of the rape for profit, through Miami Vibes Enterprises Inc."

Defendant BlackPlanet.com is an African-American social networking site which claims to have more than 15 million members.

Doe says she was lured into the scheme in January 2006, when she "received an inbox message on her BlackPlanet.com profile from a person who purported to be a female talent scout. ... The female talent scout told Jane Doe that she had viewed her profiled on BlackPlanet.com and asked if she was interested in modeling opportunities.

"Having no reason to believe that the person contacting her was not who she purported to be, and having never been warned that fraudulent solicitation by online predators was a prevalent practice on Blackplanet.com, Jane Doe gave the female talent scout her contact information and confirmed her interest in modeling."

Doe says Flanders then contacted her using the fictitious name "Antwon," saying the female talent scout had referred her to him.

Antwon/Flanders asked her to come to Miami because "he was interested in having her audition for a Bacardi modeling contract in South Florida," the complaint states.

Before her "audition," she says, "Flanders contacted Jane Doe numerous times and asked her questions about her alcohol tolerance and experience with drinking hard liquor. When asked why it was relevant, Flanders told Jane Doe that he wanted to make sure she could 'pass the audition.'"

Doe says she made the trip from her home in Jacksonville to Miami, where Flanders picked her up at her hotel "and drove her to the audition location at the Miami Vibes Enterprises Inc. office. During the audition, Jane Doe was asked to recite certain lines and take shots of Bacardi liquor. Throughout the audition, Jane Doe took approximately three shots of 'Bacardi Gold.'

"The next thing Jane Doe remembers after taking shots of liquor is waking up in Flanders' car and being dropped off at the hotel. Flanders told Jane Doe that she would hear something in the next couple of days.

"Jane Doe told her cousin, who was waiting at the hotel, that she couldn't remember what had happened, but she didn't think she got the modeling job because she could not handle the shots of liquor. Jane Doe remembers being very sleepy and 'dozing off' throughout their subsequent trip to Key West, Florida."

After she returned to Jacksonville, Doe says, she contacted the female talent scout on BlackPlanet.com, who told her that she didn't get the part.

But in May, Doe says, Flanders contacted her, saying Olympic Models wanted her to audition for a Hennessy and Bacardi modeling contract.

Again, "Jane Doe traveled to South Florida for the audition. Jane Doe was once again taken to the Miami Vibes office. During the audition, Jane Doe was told to take shots of alcohol once again and recite similar lines as before. The next thing Jane Doe remembers is being dropped off by Flanders at her uncle's house, where she was staying. Flanders told her she did really well and would hear back from them the next day.

"Jane Doe never heard back from Flanders or the female talent scout.

"In or about October 2007, Jane Doe was contacted by her agent, who asked her why she did not tell him that she appeared in pornography. Shocked and confused, Jane Doe informed her agent that she had never appeared in pornography. Jane Doe's agent informed her that there is a hardcore pornographic video of her available on the Internet.

"Jane Doe's agent purchased the pornographic video and brought it to Jane Doe's house to view. Jane Doe watched the video of her with Edward Callum, realizing for the first time that she had been raped by Callum during one of the auditions. This was the first time she ever remembered seeing Callum.

"Upon learning that Callum and Flanders had been arrested for rapes of other women whom they slipped the drug Xanax in an alcohol drink, Jane Doe went to the police station and pressed charges against them.

"Upon information and belief, Callum and Flanders likewise placed the drug Xanax in the shots of hard liquor that were consumed by Jane Doe as part of the audition. ...

"During either or both auditions, while Jane Doe was unknowingly under the influence of Xanax and alcohol, Callum raped Jane Doe while Flanders recorded the rape on video. Callum then produced and distributed the rape video for profit as hardcore pornography through his company, Miami Vibes Enterprises Inc., without the consent of Jane Doe or even the knowledge that she had been raped," according to the complaint.

She seeks punitive damages for sexual battery, privacy invasion, negligence, corporate liability and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

She says both Callum and Flanders have been "criminally indicted by a federal grand jury" for the "actions that are the subject matter of this lawsuit."

The corporate defendants are Radio One Inc., Interactive One LLC, Community Connect Inc., all of them dba BlackPlanet.com, and DCash Technologies, DSYnternet Media Inc. and DSYnternet Online.

Doe is represented by Jeffrey Herman, with Herman, Mermelstein & Horowitz.

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