Phoenix PD Raids Porn Studio Where Customers Pay to Be the Star

Categories: Porn

Paying someone to star in your own porn movie appears to be frowned upon by the Phoenix Police Department, especially when the "studio" is providing the "model" you'll be having sex with.

The cops raided "Self Serve Porn Studios" Thursday, alleging that the whole business is just a classic brothel and the "models" are really prostitutes.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, police have been investigating this joint since October, leading up to Thursday's arrest of owner William Hartwell, and several others.

Police caught up with a former employee in January, who said she made "professional pornographic videos" when she worked there.

She explained that the customer would have to sign a form saying he is having his fantasy recorded, then get a "penis check" from an employee -- apparently a way of trying to avoid cops -- before picking his model, taking a few photographs or a short video, and then getting to "fulfill his fantasy" with the model.

The studio was charging $120 for sex, and $200 for fetish stuff.

Police had a female source try to get a job with the studio in March, and Hartwell explained his scheme of selling copyrights to the video footage, saying it's a "great place to work."

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The cops eventually sent a male source in there, and he heard from the "model" that most people don't even record the session. Instead, they just turn the camera to the wall during the sex session.

Other former employees told police that Hartwell repeatedly told them what they were doing was legal, because it was pornography. According to the website for the business, that's what they told customers, too:

Most porn is Constitutionally Protected as Free Speech.
Some types of porn have been deemed obscene or illegal in Arizona.
The Self Serve Porn Studio will not allow the use of our studios for anything that could be considered obscene or illegal by the state.
By partnering with a model at the studio to create amateur Boy/Girl sex scenes you remain SAFE and LEGAL.
While at the studio you are paying for equipment and studio rental only and may not engage in any illegal or unsafe activities.
You may not offer money to anyone other than the receptionist for equipment and studio rental fees.
You do not have to appear in the movie or pictures but you do have to direct/produce the porn scene(s).
If you come to make amateur porn, you are welcome at the studio.

Hatwell told one of the cops' sources that he was making about $4,000 a day running this business. Hartwell, co-owner Michelle Marchetti, and several prostitutes were arrested in yesterday's raid.

William Hartwell

FYI, you can click here to check out all the "models" they were offering.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

My Voice Nation Help

Well at least gun crime is at an all-time low... oh wait. Thanks pigs!

Joseph Peshlakai
Joseph Peshlakai

no matter how you dress it up, it's just the world oldest profession still getting in some work haha

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

I bet if it were mexicans here illegally fucking for money, they would cry racism.

Chelsea Erin Alongi
Chelsea Erin Alongi

Actually in AZ making porn without the proper licenses is VERY illegal, especially if money is being made off of it, but no taxes are being paid.

Kelly Remaklus Mahoney
Kelly Remaklus Mahoney

Haha....I almost applied for a job as a receptionist there! Figured something wasn't right! Glad they got busted if they were up to no good.

David M
David M

You too can be a star! LOL.

Ian Torrey
Ian Torrey

The police don't have a case. Making a pornographic video is completely legal.

Shane Pogue
Shane Pogue

Wow, $120 for a sex sesh... Not bad. haha


I think they will win in court, if it gets that far. Stops being prostitution when you turn the camera on. Of course, it ain't right that it's against the law in the first place.

allanbartlett topcommenter

the camera adds ten pounds, damn it I hoped it would add six inches.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

What incompetent "lawyer" signed off on this superficial ruse?

"Hatwell told one of the cops' sources that he was making about $4,000 a day"

So the DA will be checking with the IRS to see if this clown declared ~$1.4 MILLION in income ... and file a asset seizure against the proceeds of crime.

Hey PNT, you should disclose the fact that YOU ACCEPTED PAID ADVERTISING for this this type of criminal activity.

robert_graham topcommenter

DUH!!! This is a no-brainier because the business was a "guise' for prostitution plain and simple.


"To protect and to serve."

Exactly who did the Police protect me from?


Phoenix Police "investigated" this place of business over 200 times.  


"Police have been investigating this joint since October," yeah, that's the ticket. The thrust of the investigation was deep and wide spread. They discharged their duties in the end. The prostituting attorney reports satisfaction with the conclusion of the deep under cover investigation.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Years ago in San Diego, massage parlor owners stayed one step ahead of the law by labeling their businesses "rap parlors," etc. Or they changed the sign from massage to "message." It worked for awhile.

valleynative topcommenter

That's an interesting attempt to get around the law.  Almost as creative as Congress.


@JAFFYDUCK....QUACK....QUACK...QUACK. I think I saw UR mom on one of the pictures. BTW it was the most disgusting looking "model" there, as disgusting as URself. FUCKING WHORE.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative ... Hourly Bathroom Stall rental -- disguised as a Dance Studio -- so closeted Repugs can rehearse their Wide-Stance Toe Tapping.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @wqcharleston  

Well when a crime such as this occurs, I am sure that they will rise to the occasion ...

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