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Porn Star ‘Mr. Marcus’ Jailed for Spreading Syphilis: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know

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Jesse Spencer, better known to the porn industry as Mr. Marcus, pleaded no contest in Los Angeles Superior Court to knowingly exposing another to a communicable disease.

The 43-year-old adult actor caused a fracas last summer, when it was revealed that he acted in pornographic videos despite testing positive for syphilis. At least nine porn stars contracted the disease during that time frame, causing a temporary moratorium from porn production in Los Angeles.

Spencer is a 19-year veteran of the adult video industry, and prior to this saga, he was one of the most respected faces in a morally ambiguous field.

Here’s everything you need to know about Mr. Marcus and his arrest:


1. Spencer Was Sentenced to 30 Days Behind Bars

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After pleading no contest in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 4, Spencer was ordered to spend 30 days in jail. According to LA Weekly, the L.A. City Attorney’s office declared his charges as “exposing someone to a communicable disease.”

In addition to the 30-day jail sentence, Spencer has been placed on 36 months of probation and must complete 15 days of community labor.


2. Spencer Intentionally Lied About Syphilis Results

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The charges stem from events that occurred last summer. Per Xbiz.com, Spencer first noticed spots appearing on his hand, but self-diagnosed himself with a skin condition or vitamin deficiency.

Past that, though, the evidence of his awareness is damning. Spencer received a penicillin shot for syphilis on July 13 of last year, then tested positive for the infection in a follow-up screening eight days later.

From there, according to The Daily Mail, he duped a “Bang Bros” producer into letting him work by presenting a copy of his test results on a cellphone, rather than using the typical print or digital copy. That ploy, along with Mr. Marcus’ high-esteem within the porn community, allowed him to knowingly continue working despite the positive tests.


3. The Ensuing Syphilis Outbreak Shut Down Porn Production For 10 Days

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Because of Spencer’s deceit, an outbreak of syphilis swept through the porn industry, eventually forcing production into a short moratorium.

During the production delay, more than 1,000 adult performers in the L.A. area were tested for syphilis or administered preventative medicine. Even performers without the disease were treated as if they did, as elucidated by Adult Production Health & Safety Services (APHSS) in an official statement:

APHSS’ doctors network has determined that prophylactic treatment for syphilis for all performers is warranted…Once the performer receives antibiotics, he or she will be available to work within 10 days.

With performers unable to proceed until the antibiotics kicked in, and until the APHSS had cleared them, the porn industry was out of production for 10 days.

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4. Porn Producer Mark Blazing Caught Mr. Marcus in His Web of Lies

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Mr. Marcus tried another rouse in August, obscuring his positive test by folding over that section of his results, then photocopying the incomplete version.

According to AdultFYI.com, though, Mark Blazing of “Blazing Bucks” was not fooled by what he saw. He asked Marcus for another version of the test, and when the actor responded evasively, he reported him to a higher-up, Derek Hay, who confronted Marcus with the damning evidence.

From there things began to unravel for Mr. Marcus, who was almost immediately outed for causing a syphilis outbreak. The porn moratorium started within the week.


5. Spencer Was Scared to Admit He Had Syphilis

When prompted – ex post facto, of course – to explain his behavior, Mr. Marcus admitted to altering the tests because he was scared of being brandished with a “scarlet letter.” As he told Xbiz.com:

A lot of people in this industry didn’t know, were totally unaware how syphilis works. How this test reads it. I tried to cover it up. I didn’t want to have to share that part. Because I said it was like the scarlet letter. It’s the word. Syphilis, whoa. Mr. Marcus, syphilis? Mr. Marcus, the one I worked with? The one that everybody works with? The one that’s been in this industry forever?”

The court was unswayed by Spencer’s high school literature allusion.

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6. Mr. Marcus May Not Be Porn’s Patient Zero

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The Daily Mail reports that Spencer contracted his infection on set, which means he was not the porn industry’s initial contagion.

According to porn blog LukeisBack.com, female porn star Aletta Ocean confirmed that she contracted syphilis during a shoot in Budapest…and that she wasn’t alone.

Because of Ocean’s revelation, many have pointed to Hungary as the original source of the outbreak. But that hardly excuses Mr. Marcus, who helped spread the infection here in the States, from culpability.


7. Number of California Syphilis Cases is Increasing

The porn outbreak that Spencer helped ignite is just a small case of a bigger problem.

According to the California Department of Health — publishers of the document above — syphilis cases in California spiked by 18 percent between 2010 and 2011, and don’t appear to be slowing down.

Those rates, in conjunction with scandals such as last summer’s syphilis scare, helped lead to L.A.’s new law requiring men to wear condoms in porn shoots.


8. Mr. Marcus is an Adult Video Hall of Famer

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Mr. Marcus isn’t just a veteran of the porn industry — he’s a legend.

According to IMDB, Marcus was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2009, a year where he also won the award for Best Couples Scene and was nominated for Best Actor.

His Hall of Fame resume also includes wins for Best Group Sex Scene (1999), Best Supporting Actor (2003) and Best Double Penetration Sex Scene (2010).

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9. Spencer Was Arrested in May for a DUI

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Never content to keep a low profile, even a month before his sentencing, Spencer was arrested for a DUI on May, 9 2013.

According to TMZ, police pulled Spencer over in his Hyundai Elantra at 2:30 a.m., after noticing the car swerving in the street.

After smelling alcohol in the car and watching Spencer bungle the breathalyzer (as TMZ kindly points out, blowing was never Mr. Marcus’ strong suit), authorities took him into custody.


10. Spencer’s Legal Trouble Doesn’t End Here

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Female porn star Lylith Lavey, who worked with Mr. Marcus on June, 24 2012, has also filed suit against the performer, alleging that he caused her intentional emotional distress.

According to Xbiz.com, Lavey could be seen giving Mr. Marcus fellatio in a Bang Bros video, and Mr. Marcus’ “penis clearly showed evidence of a possible STI.”

Marcus’ attorney, Martin Cutler, thinks Lavey’s case is shaky, since she knew the inherent risk involved in shoots of this nature. “In my 24 years of practicing law, I have never seen a more frivolous case,” Cutler said back in May. “She’s a porn actress — she knew what she was getting into.”

The case is still in its early discovery phase, but appears to hinge on Lavey’s claim that Mr. Marcus didn’t inform her of his earlier STI contraction.

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