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City leaders, police questioning men's sex group

Posted October 15, 2008
Updated October 16, 2008

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— A group registered as a nonprofit agency is raising the eyebrows of one Raleigh elected leader, inspectors and police – all who say they are trying to determine if there's something illegal going on.

According to an e-mail advertisement from the Marketing and Networking Fellowship Group, the business – off of U.S. Highway 64 in northeast Raleigh – is a place for men to engage in sexual activities 24 hours a day for a monthly membership fee.

Neighboring businesses say they have seen mattresses, TVs and bar stools recently being delivered in anticipation of an open-house event scheduled for Wednesday evening.

That meeting, however, was canceled Wednesday afternoon after city inspectors attempted to get an explanation for the establishment.

"This is effectively a brothel," Raleigh City Councilman Philip Isley said. "Or it's a place where people can pay for sex, which, I hope, in this day and age is still illegal."

Attempts to contact three individuals listed on paperwork for the group – Joshua Stilwell, Greg Leonard and Calvin Pleasants – were unsuccessful. A fourth individual who answered the door at an address on the paperwork had no comment.

City leaders said they were unaware of the group and that it has no building permits and no business or adult entertainment licenses.

"This sort of thing is so out of the scope of what I could ever imagine happening," Isley said. "I mean, it's almost – I wonder if it's a hoax."


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  • kopfjaeger2001 Oct 16, 2008

    If this club is engaged in illegal activity, such as prostitution and child exploitation , then yes, shut it down and prosecute everyone involved. Now if this is just a private club for adults, adults only, and no laws are being broken, then the local government needs to concentrate on the issues that affect the people everyday, such as water/sewage/trash, crime control and public safety, gang and drug interdiction, and so on.

  • Professor Studley Oct 16, 2008

    "Marketing and Networking Fellowship Group, good grief. Legality aside, this sounds like essentially commercializing on the "down low." If so, that would make it a venue for risky male-male sex for guys who will later go home to their wives and girlfriends. Can you say HIV?"

    Since when has HIV been exclusive to homosexual activity?

  • mmafighterwife Oct 16, 2008

    The city leaders/police should go over there and get a membership and see what is going on for themselves!

  • dwntwnboy Oct 16, 2008

    Talk about a nothing story. Who cares if these people want to pay a fee to join a private club, and do whatever it is they do behind locked doors. Unless they are serving alcohol, or any prostitution there really shouldn't be any interaction from the city or state. As long as the proper taxes are paid and they don't bother their neighbors, what's the big deal? I would rather they have a place to go and do whatever they want behind closed doors than be freaked out every time I try to go to a public restroom, park, lake etc. Take it off the streets, out of the backs of cars in dark corners and let the freaks be freaks all they want in the privacy of their "club" where the rest of us don't have to stumble upon it.

  • ratherbnnc Oct 16, 2008

    where was it ever mentioned that this was men's gay club? According to the news last night there were also women involved!
    Seems Mr Nosey Isley mentioned the word "brothel". Does anyone remember what brothel means? it sure doesnt refer to gay clubs.
    Besides, anyone want to buy my membership? Its going for 1/2 off with no questions asked!

  • colliedave Oct 16, 2008

    Didn't Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass) roomie try and run the same type of business out of their townhome?

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass Oct 16, 2008

    what if...by chance what they've done is legal? they've just been implicated as participating in illegal activity, names published, location given. why is a city councilman worried about this group and not at least a bit more concerned ABOUT WATER, ROADS, GANG CRIME, you know, little things.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 16, 2008

    veyor, it's called mental evolution. Try it. It allows us to change our minds...to change archaic, discriminatory laws based on new evidence...like on slavery and women not voting. What's wrong with learning and adjusting accordingly? It's the I'll-never-change-my-mind-no-matter-what mentality that is real danger to society.

    So who are we to tell consenting adults who, when and where they can have sex? Is this America or have we been taken over by religious, freedom-taking extremists like some other countries?

  • batcave Oct 16, 2008

    Historically Raleigh had lots of brothels at the turn of the previous century

  • dlb800 Oct 16, 2008


    Murder "may" be wrong depending on your definition of murder. How many people here are against capital punishment? People call that legalized murder. Well... I feel that they don't use it enough... so if it's murder, then sure, that's murder is ok.

    But going back to this story... this really is a stupid story. If people want to belong to a club to have sex, fine, so be it, as long as there are no children involved. Whatever 2 adults want to do (BOTH want to do) should be ok. How does 2 guys having sex, or a man and a woman having sex really affect you?