SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The videotape tells a different story -- that is the claim from a San Francisco lawyer accused of sexually assaulting three women he found on Craigslist. He videotaped some of those encounters, evidence he insists prove his accusers are lying.
The case has sex, the attorney says there are lies and there is videotape. The case also involves sadomasochism and sexual domination. All of it came out Wednesday at a preliminary hearing.
Three women who say they were victims are testifying. ABC7 has decided not to reveal their identities.
The 19-year-old woman says she responded to Michael Hoffman's ad on Craigslist in early June.
Hoffman wrote that he liked to degrade and dominate his partners.
The 50-year-old defendant is a labor lawyer with a downtown office. He specializes in cases where workers claim they have been wrongfully terminated and sexually harassed.
"Michael Hoffman put his ad in thw Craigslist looking for people to 'I want to beat you, I want to pull your hair, I want you to whimper,'" defense attorney Stu Hanlon said.
The woman, who responded with the name Liz, says she had sex with Hoffman twice before the assault in his apartment near Aquatic Park on June 25.
Liz says she told Hoffman she wanted to chat and did not want sex but that he raped her anyway.
Hanlon says Liz and the other two reported victims knew what they would encounter when they responded to Hoffman's ads for rough sex and that it was consensual.
Just before the noon break, Hanlon surprised the court by saying Hoffman had videotaped the sexual encounter with Liz.
"It's just the evidence shows to me she's lying, and the video will support it as does the audio; it's sad why she would do this, I have no idea," Hanlon said....
After months of wrangling with the city, the south-city BDSM venue known as "The Facility" is legally in the clear to operate, proprietor Joe Kriegesmann says.
"We are approved for educational seminars," says Kriegesmann, who is also known as "Satan's Master." He tells us he received a letter from the Board of Public Service giving him the go-ahead to operate the club, which mayoral spokeswoman Kara Bowlin confirms.
Kriegesmann and his associates, the Clan of the Barbarian, will use the cavernous south-city space to host experts in BDSM practices. BDSM refers to bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism and submission and dominance -- consensual exchanges of physical and mental power than can be erotically charged for participants. The space features human-sized birdcages, racks and spreader bars, among plenty of other amenities for painful pleasures.
Kriegesmann has been working to get the club operating within the strictures of every applicable city law, but it hasn't been easy figuring out just what those laws are. As we reported back in May, Kriegesmann obtained a business permit and an occupancy permit, which he thought were sufficient. But it turns out the city had more hoops for him to jump through. On July 28, Kriegesmann went before a three-member city panel to answer more questions about The Facility.
Alderman Craig Schmid, in whose district The Facility sits, had told Daily RFT in May that his reservations about the space weren't about kink, but public safety. At the July hearing, though, he seemed to switch gears. "Ostensibly, the application is for educational seminars," he said at the hearing. "But I cannot reasonably ignore what is the actual use of the facilities."
The experts will teach classes on subjects ranging from scene etiquette to toy and tool use to rope bondage techniques and everything in between. The club will also host parties with space available for BDSM play, although Kriegesmann has always stressed that sex, alcohol, nudity and minors are verboten.
Kriegesmann has said all along that he wants to know what laws apply so that he can bring the club into compliance. It's been his goal to operate a BDSM club that's fully legal and has no fear of being raided. But his is the only club he knows of that's not trying to operate under the radar; the trail he's blazing is a new one for St. Louis.
Hardy Haberman was in his local dungeon a couple years ago, beating a friend at a "play party," when things suddenly got weird. Wielding a soft leather flogger — a thick-handled instrument that resembles a whip, but with a dozen slender tails — he was lashing the slightly younger man's back. Haberman and his friend barely noticed the crowd formed around them; they were focused totally on each other. But Haberman did notice that his friend was enjoying the flogging. He knew it from the way the man moaned, writhed, screamed and cursed under his touch. True to leather-scene etiquette, though, Haberman's plaything remained unfailingly polite. "Motherfucker! Sir!" he yelled, as leather met skin.
As Haberman flogged away, a straight couple kept edging in close — way too close, stepping right into the backswing of Haberman's flogger. When he finally could sense their presence, he stopped to avoid hitting them. He gave them a look that, for most people in the crowd, would have been enough to get them to back off. But they didn't budge.
Now they were messing with Haberman's rhythm. He ignored their presence as long as he could, but then the man — wearing a billowy white Renaissance Faire-style blouse, for reasons Haberman couldn't quite make out — stepped even closer and started barraging Haberman with questions. "How do you do that?" he asked, staring in fascination as the flogger landed another blow.
Haberman was starting to understand: The couple was clueless, just the latest in a parade of curious amateurs who leather-scene vets swear are destroying Dallas' once happily insular leather community.
"Look," Haberman finally told the guy. "I'm not trying to teach a class here. I'm just trying to have a good time with my friend." He sarcastically offered to flog Ren Faire next, if he really wanted a demonstration of Haberman's "technique."
The guy and his girlfriend stormed off in a huff. Later, they complained to the party's organizer about Haberman's mid-flog display.
Haberman's a big man in his early 60s; he'd be a lot more imposing if not for the long, drooping mustache that makes him look like a friendly walrus. He's been around long enough to remember, wistfully, the way Dallas' leather scene used to be back in the 1970s. To hear him and his friends tell it, a contemporary leatherman can't swing a flogger or clamp a nipple around here without running into some "sexual tourist" poking around the city's dungeon and play-party scene — "looking," Haberman says, "to spice up their love lives."
"For years, we flew under the radar, and we had some fabulous times," he says, reveling in the memory of the scene's powerful "sex magic." "There was an erotic energy that happened that was palpable. Now you just don't see it as much." ...
The chancellor of the University of Northern Virginia exposed as a sadomasochistic sex-dungeon master following a school raid by federal immigration agents last month has submitted his resignation.
David Lee, 64, was revealed as a man so into domination and sadomasochism that he and his girlfriend turned their basement into a suburban sex dungeon.
He claimed in his letter of resignation that 'Discussions of my personal life have become a distraction for students and friends of UNVA at a time when we need to focus on more significant issues.'
According to his letter, Lee’s resignation was effective on Friday.
On July 28, the for-profit school was raided by immigration authorities seizing computers and documents and leaving a population of approximately 2,000 mostly Indian students in limbo.
The Smoking Gun found the personal ad after the raid - complete with photos of his dungeon and Lee performing sadomasochistic acts - on a website called collarme.com, which describes itself as the 'largest BDSM Community on the Planet'.
The ad sought 'attractive submissive women' who 'wish to be part of our poly family'. ...
A San Francisco employment lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment cases has been charged with rape and other crimes for allegedly attacking three women who came to his apartment in response to his Craigslist ad for rough sex.
Robert Michael Hoffman, 50, allegedly sexually assaulted a 36-year-old East Bay woman in March, a 19-year-old San Francisco woman in June and a 25-year-old East Bay woman earlier this month. The allegations include rape, sexual battery, forced oral sex and one count of false imprisonment.
Hoffman is being held at the County Jail in San Francisco on $3 million bail.
His lawyer, Stuart Hanlon, said the women had all come to Hoffman's Van Ness Avenue apartment to engage in what his ads in Craigslist's "Men Seeking Women" section billed as dominant-submissive sex.
"His ad clearly said he was seeking dominant sex with submissive women," Hanlon said. "It talked about getting controlled, getting hit and getting their hair pulled."
In at least two cases, the women had sex with Hoffman voluntarily before the incidents in which they accused him of sexual assault, Hanlon said.
Hanlon said the three women, along with a fourth alleged victim, had gone to police accusing Hoffman of having assaulted them in his apartment, but that the district attorney's office declined to file charges until the most recent case. Prosecutors have not filed charges related to the fourth alleged victim, whose accusations predate the other women's.
Hoffman was arrested Aug. 5 and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday.
A spokeswoman for District Attorney George Gascón's office would not comment on why the office had initially declined to file charges against Hoffman when the first three women came forward. She said prosecutors were still reviewing the accusations that the first woman lodged against Hoffman last year. ...
About a month ago, Kitty Stryker wrote a piece for the Good Vibrations Magazine, I Never Called it Rape: Addressing Abuse in BDSM Communities, in which she opened up a really important topic. It’s one that’s been simmering for a while and now that it’s come up in such a public way, there’s been a lot of different responses. There’s been the predictable set of comments, both on the Good Vibrations Magazine and on Fetlife (a social networking site for the BDSM crowd).
Some folks are making excuses for doms who assault their subs, some people are asking why people who have been assaulted don’t report it, and a few are trying to find ways to make room for both BDSM and rape awareness. I’m sure that there are other ways that people are responding, but those are the most common ones I’ve seen.
This is an issue that the kink community (if I can use that term to describe such a wide-ranging and diverse crowd) has been avoiding for a long time. And I understand why- if it comes to the surface, it gives a certain weight to the arguments that many anti-BDSM folks make about kinky sex being all about rape. But one thing that few BDSM folks seem willing to acknowledge is that, yes, some people are drawn to BDSM because it gives them an excuse to hurt others. To be 100% clear, I’m not talking about the kinds of intense sensation that some people enjoy, especially in the context of erotic energy (with or without genital stimulation). I’m talking about the people who take advantage of a newbie’s naïveté and tells them that “this is how this works.” I’m talking about the people who push someone past their limits without negotiating that. I’m talking about people who use BDSM as an excuse to violate boundaries under the guise of being Lord Domly Dom®. I’m talking about people who don’t care about the consent of the other person.
In addition to those folks, there are also situations in which a top is clueless or selfish. Malice isn’t the only reason people cross boundaries, and these other motivations don’t change the impact of the experience on the person who’s been assaulted. I’m certainly not suggesting that “I didn’t mean to” is an excuse. And I do think it can make a difference in how we choose to respond.
Unfortunately, in addition to the tendency of marginalized communities to avoid “airing their dirty laundry in public” (and yes, BDSM folks are marginalized, even with all of the S/M imagery in the media), there are a lot of dynamics that reinforce this setup. I think it’s important to look at them in order to deal with them, although I don’t expect that this is a complete list. ...