|Marc J. Collins-Rector|
Marc Collins-Rector's mug shot, taken in 2007
October 16, 1959
|Known for||Founder, Digital Entertainment Network|
Marc John Collins-Rector (born October 16, 1959) is an American businessman, and a convicted sex offender, best known for founding Digital Entertainment Network, an online streaming video broadcaster and notable dot-com failure, as well as his associations with Hollywood and media figures.
In the early 1980s Rector founded Telequest, a Florida-based telecommunications company. In 1984, Rector founded World TravelNet, a company which electronically coordinated cruises and tours; its affiliate, World ComNet, was floated on the Vancouver Stock Exchange in 1987. It's valuation briefly peaked at $100 million before increasing competition led to bankruptcy. Rector later founded an early ISP; Concentric Network, in 1991 along with colleague and lover Chad Shackley.
Rector and Shackley sold Concentric in 1995 and, using money raised from the sale, as well as close to $100m of investor and venture capital, formed an early Internet video media content delivery company, Digital Entertainment Network. Collins-Rector was the co-founder and chairman of DEN, which exhausted its funding following a failed IPO bid and collapsed amidst allegations of Collins-Rector having sexually abused children, coercing them with drugs and guns.
News reports have stated that Collins-Rector was a silent partner in the MMORPG service company IGE, which was founded by ex-DEN VP Brock Pierce - who is now chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. IGE initially used an address in the city of Marbella, Spain, where Collins-Rector, Shackley and Pierce shared a villa until it was raided by Interpol in 2002.
Child enticement conviction
Running DEN out of a Los Angeles mansion, Collins-Rector and his 2 business partners - his boyfriend at the time, Chad Shackley and Brock Pierce - hosted lavish parties, attended by Hollywood’s gay A-list. It was at those parties where Collins-Rector, and others allegedly sexually assaulted half a dozen teenage boys, according to 2 sets of civil lawsuits, the first filed in 2000, and the 2nd in 2014.
First set of lawsuits
In 2000, three DEN employees filed lawsuits against Collins-Rector, Shackley and Pierce. The plaintiffs Michael Egan, Alexander Burton (who played Pyro in the film X-Men), and Mark Ryan complained that the three defendants sexually assaulted and abused them severely. Collins-Rector did not respond to the suit, and the plaintiffs were awarded a multimillion-dollar default judgement, according to court records. Others who were plaintiffs in lawsuits accusing Collins-Rector of sexual abuse include:
• A 15-year-old boy named Ben L. who traveled from Minnesota to California to work in print and TV ads, was taken to Collins-Rector’s home. There, Collins-Rector allegedly “made sexual contact with L. by means of intimidation,” according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in February 2001. The court awarded the plaintiff a default judgement of just over $250,000, according to court records.
• A 15-year-old boy named Ryan G. whom Collins-Rector allegedly flew to Los Angeles from his home in Michigan at least 15 times from 1996 to 1997, where he provided him with alcoholic drinks, fondled him, engaged in oral sex with him, and purchased at least $12,000 in clothing and gifts, according to the complaint filed in May 2003 in Los Angeles Superior Court. The court awarded a default judgement against Collins-Rector for an unspecified amount, according to court records.
In August 2000 a New Jersey federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges that he had transported minors across state lines for the purpose of having sex with them.
Interpol arrest and incarceration
After his indictment by a grand jury in 2000, Collins-Rector fled to Spain together with Shackley and Pierce. Interpol arrested them in May 2002 in a villa in the south Spanish beach city of Marbella. Guns, machetes and child pornography were found in the house. Pierce and Shackley were held for about a month then released.
Collins-Rector fought extradition proceedings for two years before returning to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Collins-Rector admitted luring five minors across state lines for sexual purposes. He received credit for time that he had served in a Spanish jail and was registered as a sex offender under a weekly supervision.
In 2006, a U.S. District Court granted Collins-Rector special permission to go to the United Kingdom to receive treatment for “a brain tumor”.
In October 2007 the British paper The Sun published a photo of Collins-Rector in a tan blazer, accompanied by a young man. The article reported that "a millionaire pedophile from America is swanning around Britain in a chauffeur-driven limo and surrounding himself with young boys".
Later that year, Collins-Rector’s attorney filed a motion to terminate his client’s supervision requirement, according. The court ordered Collins-Rector’s immediate return. The D.A wrote that Collins-Rector “had abused the permission he received to travel” by “engaging in wholly inappropriate business and personal relationships with teenage boys”. Collins-Rector returned to Florida on Sept. 4, 2007, to spend the last 31 days of his supervised release in the United States. Once his time was up, he returned to Europe.
In August 2008, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement updated its records on Collins-Rector for the last time, listing him as living in an unspecified address in the Dominican Republic. In 2011, Collins-Rector renounced his American citizenship. He has been untraceable ever since.
Second set of lawsuits
In 2014 more sexual assault lawsuits rocked Hollywood. The co-defendants included Hollywood director Bryan Singer and three other prominent film industry figures, all of whom were investors in DEN. The charges against Singer were dropped in 2014.
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