9:30 Club Co-Owner Seth Hurwitz Pleads Guilty to Solicitation of Prostitution

Claudia Rosenbaum | November 07, 2019

Washington D.C. independent concert promoter Seth Hurwitz of I.M.P., who co-owns popular local venue 9:30 Club and has operating agreements with The Anthem and Merriweather Post Pavilion, pleaded guilty Thursday (Nov. 7) to one count of solicitation of prostitution, a misdemeanor. 

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In exchange for his guilty plea, Hurwitz received a one year suspended jail sentence and three years of supervised probation. 

Hurwitz was arrested by the Montgomery County Police on Aug. 21 after a massage therapist contacted police to report that she had been sexually solicited the day prior by a man named Seth who had called her to book a massage. She told police that during the massage, Seth "Googled" himself and showed her the results. He then made inappropriate sexual comments and motions and implied she would receive a bigger tip for performing sex acts.

Police identified the man as Hurwitz and arrested him in a sting operation when he arrived at the masseuse's office. Since that first report, police had been monitoring his communications with the massage therapist and they presented him with texts and copies of his statements. This evidence led him to admit he had tried to arrange for paid sexual services in advance of his visit.  

Shortly after his arrest, Hurwitz announced that he would be stepping down from his role as chairman of I.M.P. 

After the plea, Hurwitz released a lengthy statement to his staff explaining his decision. Read it in full below. 

A note to all staff:

"Everything happens for a reason."

This is true, but not in the spiritual sense. It's what you do afterwards that decides how that goes.

They also say adversity is an opportunity. For me, this was, in fact, a great opportunity to step back and take a look at who I really am. Definitely needed some work. 

Rather than present my side of this story in a court, with all that unwanted drama, I am going to do what's best for my family and employees and put this behind us. There are simply times when, regardless of the facts or the law, it is much better to plead or settle and move on. This is one of those times. 

Believe it or not, I truly believe that this will end up being a positive if painful lesson and make me a better person. I spent a good bit of time away working hard on me. And it taught me to continue to do so...why not. I highly recommend this for anyone...and not to wait for an issue to force it.

Again, I am sorry for any distress I may have caused you about who you work for. Hopefully, someday, you will be more proud than ever about our work and the principles we stand for. 

I appreciate everyone minding the shop while I was away. As I always realize, more and more, our venues are really about you.

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About the author: Claudia Rosenbaum Claudia Rosenbaum is an attorney and journalist who writes on the music industry.