How Gemase Simmons chewed up and spit out young fame-hungry victims for years
Published: February 20, 2013
When Sasha got scared and wanted out, she heard from another Simmons persona, “Cassandra,” who took a menacing tone. “Cassandra” threatened to post the girls photos to the porn side RedTube if she didn’t fall in line.
“Yea, that’s right, I know who you are, bitch,” reads one text from “Cassandra.” “Cassandra” told Sasha she sent copies of the photos to her house. Sasha rushed home every day to check the mailbox before her parents could. “Every minute I was gone I was scared,” she said at trial.
Andrew, an aspiring web designer, was 16 years old when he joined Simmons’ “Genius Group” in 2010, evidently named after Apple’s in-store “genius” teams. Andrew considered it an internship, convinced Simmons’ “G2News” would eventually take off. Throughout the year Andrew worked for him, Simmons only cut him one $100 check. It bounced.
Sometime that year, a European rep from “Kelly Reynolds Modeling” began texting Andrew, asking that he participate in an ad for skinny jeans. But to be considered, they needed photos of Andrew in his underwear “showing bulge.”
“She [the modeling rep] told me it’s not really that provocative over there (in Europe),” Andrew testified. Soon after they wanted nudes “to make sure I’m healthy.” Simmons then told him the agency needed to ensure he’d be comfortable around male models without being aroused.
“I guess it was some sort of a homo test,” the teenager testified. “Like, to make sure I’m not gay or something.” Simmons proceeded to sexually assault the teenager in his living room.
The modeling job never came. Simmons’ defense team, for whatever reason, asked Andrew why.
“Um … because it wasn’t real?”
In late 2010, Cassie, then an 18-year-old physical therapy student living in Florida, got a message from “Kelly Reynolds Modeling” on Facebook. After exchanging routine headshots, agency rep “Melissa” started texting and asking for nude photos. Cassie resisted, but “Melissa” told her it was the only way she’d be considered for Victoria’s Secret, Herbal Essence, and Neutrogena ad campaigns. Cassie reluctantly sent them.
When Simmons traveled to Miami in August 2011, “Melissa” texted the girl saying she needed to meet him. “I was told that he’s some big guy that wants to start this G2 company with models,” Cassie testified. She met him at a beachside hotel. During their “session,” Simmons sexually assaulted her on camera.
When Cassie got out to her car after the assault, her phone lit up with a text from “Melissa”: “That’s how you become a model.”
Cassie tried to back out, but “Melissa” threatened to make her nude photos public. On Simmons’ next trip to Miami, on “Melissa’s” orders, Cassie helped Simmons set up a “G2News” information booth at Miami Dade College to recruit more students.
“Melissa” and other Simmons personas, meanwhile, kept demanding more nude photos — sometimes as many as 200 a day. By Fall 2011, Cassie was ditching class, stripping naked in public restrooms on campus and sending photos to meet their demands. By the end of 2011, prosecutors say, Cassie was visibly crying in nearly every photo she sent.
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