A man who now has the chance to affect nuclear policy at the U.S. Department of Energy once excoriated the federal government for raiding a website that trafficked young, vulnerable boys as escorts.
In an op-ed published by the Advocate in September 2015 and unearthed by the National Pulse just this week, Sam Brinton — the new deputy assistant secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy — wrote a scathing rebuke of federal law enforcement agencies for raiding Rentboy.com, a now-defunct website that reportedly ran an illegal prostitution ring that often sold the sexual services of young boys to much older clients.
Brinton didn't see things that way, though. Back in 2015, he argued that federal agents, not the pimps at Rentboy, had thrown the lives of these young boys "into turmoil."
"The raid on its headquarters has thrown many gay, bisexual, and transgender young adults into turmoil as their main source of income has been ripped away due to irresponsible and archaic views of sex work," Brinton wrote at the time.
In addition to condemning the practice of so-called "conversion therapy," Brinton argued that taking these young boys out of the care of Rentboy and returning them to their families would endanger them.
"The rent boys weren’t harming anyone. But now these young men might have to return to communities and homes which have rejected who they are. And that’s when the real danger begins."
The colloquial term rent boy refers to young boys who are paired up with older men, likely for sexual services.
According to an indictment, Rentboy.com frequently flouted age verification processes and continued to promote advertisements for escorts whose ages could not be confirmed.
“In one case, after an escort agency failed to provide photo identification for an escort, a RENTBOY.COM employee advised the escort agency that he had deleted photographs with the face of the subject escort, but left the advertisement online and left photographs that showed only the escort’s body,” the National Pulse quoted from the indictment.
The indictment also reportedly states that former Rentboy CEO Jeffrey Hurant, who was arrested in 2015, told employees "to apply lesser standards in doing age verification of Asia-market advertisements."
Yet Brinton lamented back in 2015 that "irresponsible and archaic views of sex work" brought the company to an early demise.
Though that op-ed remained hidden when Brinton's nomination to the DOE position was announced back in January, Brinton has long been an outspoken LGBTQ+ activist working within the federal government. He has reportedly given lectures about "kink" on college campuses and claims membership in a Washington, D.C., drag club called the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence."
Though many outlets have claimed that the Biden administration appointed Brinton to the role at the DOE, Brinton denies that assertion: "To clarify, I am not a Biden appointee (despite what was reported) and instead serve as a career employee in the Senior Executive Service - I intend to be serving my country in this role through many many presidencies."