Co-Owner of 9:30 Club Apologizes to Staff About Prostitution Arrest
New details emerge about arrest, alleged solicitation of massage therapist
FROM MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE
Seth Hurwitz, the Bethesda man who co-owns the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., has apologized to employees at his businesses one day after his arrest on prostitution charges, as new details of the case emerged.
In a statement, which the company forwarded on Thursday afternoon, Hurwitz wrote that the arrest caused “a great deal of embarrassment to everybody. We are working to resolve this…I only ask that you don’t pass judgment until that day.”
Hurwitz, 60, was arrested on Wednesday after police conducted a sting operation in which he allegedly agreed to exchange sexual favors for money with an employee of a Montgomery County massage business.
The massage business employee, who was not named by police or in court documents, said during a massage she was giving Hurwitz on Aug. 15, the man repeatedly attempted to move his legs to remove the “draping” used to cover his genitals.
Hurwitz, of Lenox Road in Bethesda, allegedly requested a massage focusing on the upper legs and inner thighs, according to court documents, and told the therapist, “If you would be willing to go a little higher, your tip would improve.”
During the massage, Hurwitz “Googled himself” and told the massage therapist he often travels to Europe and if she “played her cards right,” he would “take care of her.”
Hurwitz allegedly told the therapist he would give her $300 to massage his genitals and asked if she made house calls, according to court documents.
The therapist alleges that during portions of the massage when Hurwitz was lying on his stomach, he appeared to be “grinding” the massage table.
She became uncomfortable and ended the massage early, at which time Hurwitz “jumped off the table” and “exposed his bare buttocks to the victim as he got up.”
He paid $300 for a massage that typically costs $145, according to court documents.
About six minutes after leaving, Hurwitz allegedly texted the victim: “Great massage.”
The next morning, Hurwitz called the victim and left a voicemail again asking if she would give him a massage at his home.
The victim reported the encounter to police Aug. 16.
Under the guidance of police, the victim conducted a text message conversation with Hurwitz during which the two discussed what another massage would include.
At about 5 p.m., Hurwitz called the victim. The two arranged to meet at the massage business on Aug. 21, when the therapist would provide a massage and sexual favors for $500, according to court records. Hurwitz had said he would be willing to pay up to $1,000 if the therapist performed oral sex on him.
During the conversation, Hurwitz repeatedly said he did not want the therapist to do anything she was not comfortable with.
When the victim asked if she would get paid before or after the massage, “Hurwitz stated he was offended by the question” and “deals with millionaire celebrities at his business and they don’t get paid until the ‘gig is over,’ ” court documents say.
During the conversation, Hurwitz allegedly told the victim he had similar “arrangements” with other women.
When Hurwitz arrived at the massage business the morning of Aug. 21, he was apprehended by police. He had 10 $100 bills in his pocket and admitted to corresponding with the victim, according to police.
Hurwitz was charged with solicitation for prostitution, which is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and $500 fine.
Hurwitz posted $5,000 bond on Wednesday and was released from custody. A hearing is scheduled for late September.
A website for I.M.P. Concerts, a concert promotion and production company, lists Hurwitz as the chairman and as a co-owner of the 9:30 Club, a popular D.C. music venue. I.M.P. operates Merriweather Post Pavilion and produces and promotes shows at several other venues in the Baltimore and D.C. region.
Hurwitz could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but a statement was emailed to Bethesda Beat on his behalf on Thursday.
The email included both Hurwitz’s “note to his employees,” which mentioned the “great deal of embarrassment” and his request not to pass judgment until the case is resolved.
“But, until then,” the note says, “this is not a matter that concerns our business and please soldier on as usual, doing the great jobs that have made us who we are…and I say WE because who we are is not just about me.
“I am, however…VERY sorry for any embarrassment & stress this is causing any of you.”
The same email sent on Hurwitz’s behalf started with a statement from his attorney, Paul F. Kemp of Etheridge, Quinn, Kemp, McAuliffe, Rowan and Hartinger in Rockville.
It says: “In response to the numerous inquiries about the misdemeanor charge placed yesterday, it is far too early to comment on the allegation. The facts will come out in due course. In the meantime, we ask that you give consideration to Seth and his family. Seth is presumed innocent under our laws. We look forward to a prompt resolution of this case.”