Seth Hurwitz, a major figure in the D.C. area’s entertainment scene, has been charged with solicitation for prostitution at a Montgomery County, Maryland, massage and physical therapy practice.
Montgomery County police arrested the 60-year-old Bethesda man on Wednesday, as he arrived at the victim’s place of business.
Hurwitz is the co-owner of the 9:30 Club and The Anthem in D.C., and he is the chairman of I.M.P., a concert promotion and production company that operates Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
The victim, a licensed massage and physical therapist, told police that a suspect had made sexual comments and motions during a session on Aug. 15.
The suspect identified himself as “Seth” when he booked the appointment. During the massage, he identified himself as “Seth Hurwitz” and did a search of himself on Google to show his picture to the victim, according to an arrest report.
The victim told police during an interview that Hurwitz refused to be draped but agreed to draping after she explained that clients have to be draped or wear shorts during a massage.
Hurwitz asked for a lower body massage that focused on his legs and thighs. As the victim was massaging Hurwitz, he asked her to go higher toward his genitals, according to the arrest document.
She told police that Hurwitz said her tip would improve if she would be “willing to go a little higher,” which she interpreted as he would pay her more if she performed sexual acts. And, she saw that he left a roll of cash laying on the floor in plain sight, police said.
Police said that the victim tried different massage techniques she had been trained to do if a customer seemed to be sexually aroused. She ended the massage 10 minutes early due to Hurwitz’s increasing sexual behavior.
After the massage, Hurwitz paid $300 for the $145 massage, the most the victim had ever been paid for one, she told police.
After paying, Hurwitz asked the victim if she would consider going to his home to provide a massage, which he asked before. She declined.
Police were then present during a text and phone conversation the following day between Hurwitz and the victim, wherein Hurwitz agreed to pay cash in exchange for sexual favors. The victim, with instruction from police, responded to Hurwitz, asking for details of what he wanted her to do and for how much.
On the day the victim was supposed to go to Hurwitz’s house, he texted her and said that he can come to her place of business on Aug. 21 instead. She called police about their meeting. And, based on their texts, she believed Hurwitz wanted her to provide sexual favors.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Hurwitz’s attorney said it was too early to comment on the charge, but that they “look forward to a prompt resolution of this case.”
In a note to his employees, Hurwitz apologized for any embarrassment and stress, but added, “We are working to resolve this … I only ask that you don’t pass judgment until that day.”
He went on to say, “But, until then, 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 (sic) because who we are is not just about me.”
Hurwitz has been released on a $5,000 bond. Police believe that there could be more victims due to statements Hurwitz made during conversations with the victim.
Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim to call (240) 773-5958.
This story was originally published Aug. 21, 2019. It has been updated to include the latest statement from Seth Hurwitz’s attorney and a note from Hurwitz to his employees.
WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.
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