Monday, February 20, 2012

Feds indict bogus reality TV producer

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM

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The feds last week unveiled a 22-count indictment against a local wanna-be reality TV producer facing a litany of child-porn charges. In the indictment the feds allege 35-year-old Gemase Lee Simmons coerced as many as five minors to send him nude or sexually explicit photos of themselves.

Federal agents arrested Simmons late last month at his Northwest Side apartment, years after Simmons became the target of a blistering Dateline report outlining numerous charges from aspiring models who took part in Simmons' bogus reality TV production. In interviews with Dateline the contestants accused Simmons of lying to and exploiting the young models, sometimes sexually, with promises of future fame and fortune. The would-be models were filmed competing in bizarre challenges and stunts, going to “model bootcamp,” and other standard reality-TV theatrics. But more troubling were charges that Simmons made camera crews film women in the middle of bikini waxes – Simmons himself insisted on being in the room. Some recounted having to routinely field Simmons' unwanted sexual advances.

The production was ultimately a failure – the film crew bailed after Simmons failed to pay them. Simmons' website, a wordpress blog that hasn't been updated since 2010, claims he's planning a book called “Model Citizen”, where he discusses “in great detail the rise and fall of my 'famed' reality show, behind the scenes with contestants, rumors of sexual harassment, and more.”

The new charges against Simmons say he approached a young San Antonio girl last year, offering her a chance to be a model and spokesperson for his company, a news network he called “G2News.”

The criminal complaint filed in the case sheds light on Simmons' alleged ruse. He gave one girl, identified as "CV1" the cellphone number of a “very successful” modeling client of his named “Claudia,” which turned out to be Simmons himself. He encouraged the girl to text “Claudia” to learn more about the modeling biz. Simmons, pretending to be “Claudia,” would then encourage the girl to take and send nude photos of herself. “Claudia” and another man calling himself “Curtis Johnson” – another Simmons alias – later sent the girl texts threatening to sell her nude photos on the web and to rat the girl out to her pastor. “Claudia” then sent the photo “of what appears to be an adult, nude African-American male, with his penis exposed.” “Claudia” went on to encourage the girl to have sex with Simmons.

The criminal complaint also notes a “female associate” of Simmons' who told the feds "that Simmons has utilized the same modus operandi used on CV1 to obtain nude and sexually explicit images and vieos of other minor females in San Antonio, Texas in 2011.” The associate was aware of at least two other girls that Simmons had targeted, according to the complaint.

Read the criminal complaint below:

[embed]http://www.scribd.com/doc/82223298/Gemase-Simmons-Crim-Complaint[/embed]

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