An elderly Chatswood man says he is being terrorised by a group of former prostitutes, who have tried to extort $16,000 from him.
Wayne Dempsey said he had met male prostitutes at bars, beats and at Darlinghurst’s Wall several times over the years, occasionally inviting them to his home.
But in April 2000, one of them was in his 20s and remembered Dempsey’s address. In the middle of the night someone put an envelope under his door containing an extortion note.
The note, made out of letters cut from a newspaper, alleged Dempsey had sex with a prostitute when the prostitute was 15. It ordered him to take $10,000 cash to a park in Chatswood and also warned him against going to the police.
In the four and a half years since, Dempsey had been subjected to frequent abuse. He said men had entered his yard, damaged his house, stolen his gate, damaged his parents’ gravestones and rung him repeatedly throughout the night. Another phone caller rang and demanded $6,000 saying he and others would never leave [Dempsey] alone.
Dempsey said he had been in regular contact with the police since, who had seen video evidence of the perpetrators, but no arrests had been made.
Calling his own actions -“ in bringing prostitutes home -“ foolish, Dempsey denied he had ever knowingly had sex with an underage sex worker.
You’d go there and you’d ask them how old they were and they’d say they were 19, he said. They always said they were 19. After other former rent boys had come forward with allegations against high-profile gay men, the harassment had increased, he said.
A spokesperson from the police gay and lesbian liaison program said he had not heard of any former male prostitutes attempting to extort money from ex-clients.
Somali Cerise from ACON’s Anti-Violence Project also said she had not heard of any similar cases, but said any gay men who had experienced harassment should contact police and ask to see a gay and lesbian liaison officer.
Gay and lesbian liaison officers are in police stations to make these processes easier, Cerise said. She also recommended contacting the AVP.