Fetish Porn Mogul Arrested for Cocaine Possession By Cops Investigating Indoor Shooting Range In His Dungeon (UPDATE)S

Peter Acworth, CEO of San Francisco fetish-porn giant Kink.com, has made a fortune from BDSM and maintained a surprising respectability while doing it. Just last month brought the Sundance premier of Kink, a James Franco-produced documentary that glorifies Acworth's sprawling, filthy empire. But now we've learned that Acworth was arrested earlier this month for cocaine possession, by police investigating a report that people were shooting firearms inside the company's Mission District headquarters. Leave it to San Francisco to combine gun culture and S&M.

Acworth, 42, was arrested at 8:24 p.m. on February 1st and charged with one count of cocaine possession and one count of delaying arrest, according to Albie Esparaza, a San Francisco Police Department Public-Information Officer. Police were initially sent to Kink.com's massive, $14.5 million studio/dungeon in the old San Francisco Armory at 1800 Mission St. after a concerned citizen reported seeing a video online of men firing guns inside the premises, Esparaza said. Joshua Carlberg, 40, was also arrested and charged with delaying arrest.

"Basically it stemmed from social media," Esparaza said. "Someone posted a video online and this person reported it to the police, and they located an indoor shooting range, sort of a makeshift." Esparaza said police did not find enough evidence for fire-arms-related charges, though the investigation is still open. It's unclear what video spurred the investigation, or what fetish it might have spoken to. One Kink performer I talked to said that for all the weird stuff Kink puts out, he'd never heard of videos involving live firearms. Acworth is typically fastidious about keeping his torture porn this side of the law, the performer said.

The arrest is a rare misstep for Acworth, a Brit who has has built a paradoxical image as a peddler of exotic smut like "Electro Anal Exploration" and "Maitresse Madeline's Small Penis Humiliation POV," with the polish and business acumen of a start-up guy.

"I've always had an intense desire to be tied up, since childhood, so when I discovered bondage pornography around 17, then I felt, I guess I'm kinky, and that's OK," he told the Daily Beast recently. "So I started a business to help people demystify it and help them find their sexuality." Acworth has boasted that Kink has " never shied away from scrutiny," and the company offers public tours of its Armory daily. The S&M mania sparked by 50 Shades of Grey and James Franco's documentary means we'll probably be hearing more about Acworth in the future.

Acworth's arrest may give new ammunition to some San Franciscans who fought Acworth's transformation of the Armory into a sex dungeon back in 2006, but fans and performers need not worry, for now: It appears not to have thrown much of a kink (ahem) in the shooting schedule: The Kink performer I spoke to said he had heard nothing of the arrest, and he was still on schedule for a shoot this week. (Acworth did not immediately respond to an email request for comment; nobody answered the phone at Kink headquarters.)

Update: Kink has released an official statement:

In response to recent news: last week, Peter Acworth was accused of possession of a controlled substance for personal use. No allegations of discharging guns were filed.

"I am proud of what we do at Kink.com", said Peter Acworth, "we employ 130 people and have worked hard to create beneficial change in the neighborhood. While this current attention is regrettable, we will continue our endeavors to be positive contributors to the neighborhood and city of San Francisco."

"This is a business that Peter has run for over fifteen years without incident.", said Michael Stepanian, attorney for Peter Acworth. "There were no gun charges at all. This charge amounts to $60 dollars worth. It will be handled as quickly and expeditiously as possible."

Update: SF Weekly's Kate Conger has posted a screenshot of the video in question. As she points out it doesn't appear to be pornographic—just "a few guys having fun with firearms "

[Image via AP]