I don’t follow the career paths of each and every noteworthy online film critic, and I’m certainly not in the habit of monitoring press releases from the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office. But something mind-blowing was announced and reported last Tuesday about a film writer I slightly “know” — i.e., Gabe Toro. His posts and reviews evaporated last August and some (LexG among them) have wondered what happened. He was arrested, is what happened. On 8.19.14. Last Tuesday’s press release plus two news accounts state that Toro, a 31-year-old resident of the Bronx, has pled guilty to online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct, and that he’ll face at least ten years in the slam when he’s sentenced on 6.25, and that he’ll have to register as a sex offender when he gets out.
I feel obliged to at least mention this because Toro was part of a loose-knit community that I feel a profound allegiance to. (I ran into Toro at a couple of New York junkets in ’09 and ’10). I’m kind of appalled that a jackal of his type could thread his way into our hallowed ranks. This is a tragedy all around, particularly for his 14 year-old victim (what happened here, to go by reports, is well beyond the Polanski realm) but also for a guy who had found, for better or worse, a kind of calling as a lively cinemaniac and contrarian if nothing else. A life and a career totally down the drain.
Toro’s Twitter handle is GabeThe Shogun, his Twitter page claims a contributor status with The Playlist, Den of Geek and Cinemablend, and he was known among HE readers as “Gabe The Playlist” when he was commenting in ’10, ’11 and ’12. Here’s a recent Rotten Tomatoes thread that discusses some aspects of the case.