Reports: Boystown Reality Show Producer Has Criminal Record

CHICAGO (CBS) — A published report says the executive producer who wants to bring a reality TV series to Chicago’s Boystown has a serious criminal record.

Citing court records, the Windy City Times reported this week that David Schlessinger pleaded guilty in 1998 to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one of predatory criminal sexual assault, stemming from incidents with three underage boys between 1995 and 1997. He had met the boys while cruising in Uptown, the newspaper reported.

Schlessinger was sentenced to three years in prison, according to the paper.

The Chicago Tribune reported on the case at the time. The newspaper reported that Schelssinger, then the owner of an auto insurance company on Peterson Avenue, was charged in 1997 with the assault of three boys ages 12, 14 and 15, and that he provided them with vodka and marijuana before sexually assaulting them.

Schlessinger is now chief executive officer of the production company Chitown Entertainment, which recently held casting calls for a planned reality TV program showcasing the Boystown neighborhood. reported last month that Schlessinger wanted to highlight what he called the “beauty, cultural and artistic qualities” of the Boystown neighborhood, as well as the “fun, crazy and wild people” who live and play there.

The Chicago Tribune RedEye reported Schlessinger and his team first held a pre-casting party for Halsted Street GLBT club scene regulars between the ages of 21 and 25 one day last month, then invited the top candidates back for a private casting call a day later.

Proposals for the show included following the staff or patrons of a bar on Halsted Street, or keeping the cameras rolling in an apartment where young GLBT people lived, the Windy City Times reported.

The bar Scarlet, 3320 N. Halsted St., was a site of the casting calls for the program, but bar owner Paul Cannella now tells the Windy City Times he determined before news of Schlessinger’s past hit that the program was “not a good fit” for his bar. The owner of Minibar, 3341 N. Halsted St., said similarly that his bar had previously decided it likely wouldn’t participate, the newspaper reported.

Local bar owners and casting agents did not know about Schlessinger’s criminal record, the paper reported.

  • Oscar Box

    Oh my, what a beast he is!

  • srdib

    gee, what a surprise!

  • Kelly

    He should be in prison for lie, why do these kinds of people get out.

  • Kelly

    I miss spelled Life, I meant he should be in prison for life.

  • knox

    If he’s dealing with narcissistic consenting adults what difference does it make?It’s no different then any other gay reality show.

  • Belinda

    I don’t think he is “highlighting” Boystown. I think he is exploiting the people that live, work, and play there to make a profit! They should not allow this camera junkie spin doctor anywhere near this neighborhood. Lock your doors! Close the blinds! Don’t allow yourselves to become a Hollywood spectacle. You’re not freaks in a freak show!

    • Pothead

      Belinda, you are totally right. Thay are just freaks period.

  • Alan Endres

    Hmmm, wonder what was expected at the “private casting calls”

  • dan

    Kelly above, you also misspelled “miss spelled”:

  • skip

    Gay people really don’t bother me, if they are born this way or choose the lifestyle it’s their business. What does bother me though is the way a certain segment of the gay community have to jump up and down and shout from the roof tops that their gay. As a hetrosexual I never have the inclination to wear clothing or have decals on my car or participate in a parade to celebrate my sexuality. A reality show based on boystown? Does the world really want to see middle aged and old men trolling for young boys? Are they going to feature cruising spots along the lake and in the forest preserves where random strangers stroll off in seclusion and perform sex acts? Does anyone really want to watch this? Is it going to shine a positive light on all the fine gay people out there? No, its going to be shock media that highlights the more decadent careless element of the gay community. Put it to rest already-cancel the show.

  • T

    Why isn’t he registering as a sex offender???? He will make the show anyway because people will accept anything if it gets them on TV

  • Just askme

    What does his past have to do with the show?

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