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TO CATCH A PREDATOR

Inside the Vigilante Sting to Catch a Bogus Porn Scout

The woman and a private eye for Evil Angel Videos got the impostor to admit what he did on tape, but he faces no serious legal consequences.

Emily Shugerman10.17.18 4:54 AM ET

When Deana Embry got a Facebook message from a man who said he was an agent for Evil Angel Videos—one of the largest and most respected porn production companies in the country—she thought she’d hit the jackpot.

The agent told Embry she had just the look they wanted, and urged her to audition. His come-on: She could make thousands of dollars for just a few videos, an offer she thought was too good to refuse.

So Embry, 27, agreed to meet the agent at a nearby hotel, where she signed several contracts, discussed her boundaries, and did everything asked of her in the extensive audition process—including a sex scene.

It was only after Embry left the hotel, she says, that she learned the man was not an agent at all, but a local business owner and engineering student by the name of Francisco Reveriano.

“I thought it was for a job,” Embry told The Daily Beast this week, “but he was just being a pervert.”

What’s more, Reveriano allegedly sent similar messages to at least two other women, tricking them into believing he worked for Evil Angel in a convoluted scheme to get them into bed.

But his run as an impostor porn impresario was about to come to a crashing end—not thanks to law enforcement, but as the result of a sting operation hatched by Embry and a top executive of Evil Angel.

Together, they succeeded in driving Reveriano underground, even securing a videotaped admission from him. But despite what Embry feels was a sexual assault, Reveriano currently faces nothing more than a fine. A police spokesperson in North Farm, Texas, where the first encounter allegedly occurred, told The Daily Beast they determined “there was no offense that occurred in our city.”

Reached by phone, Reveriano declined to discuss the matter further or refer us to his attorney.

Evil Angel’s chief financial officer, Adam Grayson, told The Daily Beast he first learned of Reveriano when an industry agent tipped him off in June, forwarding an email from a purported representative of the company inviting a woman to audition.

“Our agent will be taking you through the process and hopefully you qualify and agree to work with us,” the email said. “...Most importantly, in the end it is up to our Agent to decide if you qualify for a project or not and what final compensation you will be offered. So please be prepared and bring your A-level game.”

The email came from [email protected], and had the company logo splashed across the bottom. Grayson had never seen the email address or contents before in his life. He assumed it was a scam, and fired off an email to the sender, telling him to knock it off. To his surprise, the man responded within an hour, apologizing and promising to shut down the account. Grayson thought that was the end of it.

Several weeks later, however, Evil Angel received a Twitter direct message from a woman in Louisiana who said she’d received a similar message, and wanted to know if it was legitimate. Grayson asked her to forward the correspondence.

“Sure enough, it’s the same email I had seen [before],” Grayson said. “He had just twisted up the email address but it still had our name on it. So I knew it was the same guy. He was back on the radar.”

Before Grayson could decide what to do about this new development, he heard from yet another young woman who’d been contacted by the same man. Only this time, the woman had already participated in a photo shoot–and she planned to go back again later that week.

“I was like, ‘No fucking way,’” Grayson recalled. “It’s that moment where you’re like, ‘Am I gonna do To Catch a Predator?’”

That woman was Embry, an animal shelter volunteer who lived in Dallas. She said Reveriano contacted her via social media over the summer, claiming to be a talent scout for Evil Angel and a second porn production company. He arrived at their August meeting dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase, with contracts for her to sign. She said she agreed to have oral and vaginal sex with him, thinking it was her audition for Evil Angel.

By the time Embry connected with Grayson, she said, she knew she had been scammed and was eager to cooperate. So Grayson connected her with the first private investigator in Dallas he could find—Gil Wilson, a retired Dallas police officer and former U.S. Marine.

Together, the three came up with a scheme to shut down the scammer for good. Embry would invite Reveriano to her house, where Wilson would be waiting outside. The private eye would follow Reveriano inside and demand an explanation, then make him swear to shut down his operation. The sting was planned for a Sunday morning.

On the day of the operation, which was first reported by The Blast, Grayson texted Wilson and Embry from Los Angeles, slightly doubtful that the vigilante justice would work. Their response surpassed his expectations.

“Both of them texted me back like, ‘Oh it worked perfectly, we got everything on camera,’” he said, “I was like, ‘No way—it’s like a movie!’”

Footage of the confrontation obtained by The Daily Beast shows Reveriano sitting on a couch in Embry’s house, wearing aviator sunglasses and a black T-shirt, looking sheepish as Wilson interrogates him. On the tape, the 28-year-old admits to luring a woman to a hotel room under the pretense of being an Evil Angel scout.

“I said that because I wanted to trick her into having sex with me,” Reveriano says, though he maintains during the questioning that the encounter was consensual.

Wilson then chases Reveriano out of Embry’s house, threatening to report his activities to the vice squad if he tries it again.

I thought it was for a job, but he was just being a pervert.
Deana Embry

Grayson and Wilson felt victorious. But for Embry, who felt violated, it wasn’t over. She filed a report with the Dallas Police Department after Reveriano left, telling the officers he pushed her onto a bed and groped her before Wilson barged in.

A police report obtained by The Daily Beast says only that “suspect grabbed [complainant’s] butt,” though Embry insists she told the officers in detail about the incident. Court records show Reveriano pleaded not guilty to an assault by contact charge in Dallas earlier this month, and is set to appear again in court on Oct. 29. The charge carries a fine of $365.

Embry also called in a report with the North Farm police about the encounter in which she was allegedly tricked into sex. But when police called her back, she said, they told her the encounter was consensual and there was nothing they could do.

A police representative confirmed to The Daily Beast that the case had been closed without charges.

At least one similar case has resulted in serious criminal charges in the past. In January, a Seattle man was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women, and tricking others into sleeping with him by posing as a porn scout. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson called the case “one of the most egregious scams I’ve seen as Attorney General.”

Tricking someone into sexual activity isn’t generally a crime under current U.S. law, unless the perpetrator poses as the victim’s partner or advertises the activity as medical treatment. But activists such as Fiona Elvines, of the U.K. charity Rape Crisis, have argued that sex by deception should qualify as assault.

“If you need to trick someone into having sex with you, you’re a perpetrator,” Elvines told The Guardian in 2014.

Embry said that what hurt her the most about the situation was the lack of police response. She still worries that other women could be victimized by Reveriano. She recently moved six hours away from Dallas, partly out of fear.

“[The police] want us as women to come forward when something like this happens, and then they don’t do anything about it,” she said. “It’s not fair.”

Reveriano, meanwhile, seems to have gone dark. His LinkedIn and Facebook pages have been deleted, along with the website for his small business. Grayson said he hasn’t heard from any other women contacted by the impostor since their intervention.

Reveriano did, however, send a LinkedIn message to Grayson in the days following the sting, apologizing to the company but making no mention of the women.

“Everything is deleted. Lesson is beyond learned,” he wrote. “And Evil Angel or your industry will never hear from/about me again.”

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