Matthew Ayala Sanchez was born Dec. 1, 1970, and raised in San Jose, California. He attended Independence High School, but apparently did not graduate. After high school, he remained in the Bay Area, where he dated a number of men but failed to form any lasting attachments.
In the 1990s, Sanchez appeared in a series of gay pornographic videos for a number of prominent studios under the name "Rod Majors" and "Pierre LaBranche." Later in the 1990s and in the first decade of the 2000s, Sanchez worked as a prostitute, using the names "Excellent Top" and "No Regrets Massage." In the 1990s, he charged $200 for an "in call" involving a customer’s visit to a prostitute’s residence. As he aged, Sanchez reduced his in-call rate to $125.
Becoming "Cpl. Sanchez"
Sanchez joined the Marine Corps Reserve in May 2003 on an eight-year contract, and was trained as a refrigeration mechanic. In June 2005, on account of an undisclosed medical condition, Sanchez was transferred to the USMC’s Individual Ready Reserve ("IRR"), a pool of inactive reservists whose sole obligation to the military is to keep their service informed of changes of address.
In 2007, the Marine Corps investigated media reports of Sanchez’s porn performances, prostitution, and allegations that he had improperly solicited funds from a military charity and the U-Haul Corp. for a forthcoming trip to Iraq as an embedded blogger and reporter there.
Late in 2007, the Marine Corps informed Sanchez of its intention to discharge him from its reserve force altogether on the grounds that his enlistment had been erroneous. Federal law shields the results of military personnel investigations from release without the consent of the indivudual under investigation, and Sanchez has refused to release the USMC’s report on his case. However, in mid-2007, Sanchez dropped any mention of his military rank from his articles.
Columbia University Controversies
Sanchez entered New York University in 2004, and in 2005 transferred to Columbia University’s School of General Studies, an extension program that gives special preferences to minorities and military personnel. In 2005 and 2006, he became known for his complaints about "the odd disconnect between Columbia University, an elite institution of higher learning, and the Marine Corps, an elite branch of the military."
Sanchez’s criticism of Columbia began with an incident of what Sanchez claimed was harrassment by campus socialists in the fall of 2005. According to Sanchez, members of the International Socialist Organization called him a "baby killer" and a "stupid minority" for his affiliation with the Marine Corps.
Members of the socialist group denied Sanchez’s version of events. When Columbia’s administration declined to punish the students who Sanchez claimed had harrassed him, he took his case to the blogosphere and the op-ed pages of several newspapers. He repeated his version of the clash with the socialist group and denounced Columbia for "hypocrisy on inclusiveness" for not upholding his complaint.
Fox News, CPAC and the Emergence of Sanchez’s Past
Sanchez’s campaign against Columbia’s administration led to multiple appearances on conservative Fox News programs during 2006. His activities attracted support among conservatives; on March 2, 2007, he was given a "Jeanne Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award" by the Conservative Political Action Conference. On the day he accepted the CPAC award, Ann Coulter, a right-wing commentator, drew applause at the same meeting when she used the word "faggot" in reference to former Sen. John Edwards, a Democratic candidate for president.
In the ensuing uproar, a handful of gay blogs reported Sanchez's gay porn appearances and prostitution, and expressed outrage at Sanchez for accepting an award from conservatives who had applauded Coulter’s use of an anti-gay slur. Within days, the story had been featured on Countdown, a liberal news commentary program broadcast by MSNBC.
Shortly after his background was exposed, Sanchez admitted his porn acting and his prostitution, but claimed they were part of an abandoned past. Later, he denied the prostitution, and claimed that he had never been homosexual. He made a number of contradictory claims to have been married and to have had two fiancees and various girlfriends.
None of the claims has been backed up by marriage records or statements from wives, fiancees, or girlfriends. By contrast, a number of men who dated Sanchez over the years have stepped forward to describe their experiences with him, and there have been a number of reviews of his performances as a gay prostitute published on-line.
Gay Porn and Prostitution
As of 2010, Sanchez’s alter-egos, Rod Majors and Pierre LaBranche, were listed in the casts of 47 gay videos. An undetermined number of Sanchez's videos consist of compilations of previously recorded material. In the gay videos, Sanchez assumed various stock roles, including uniformed police officer, cowboy, and "Tijuana Toilet Tramp."
On March 8, 2007, Sanchez wrote an article for Salon.com in which he took note of reports "claiming that I too had advertised my services as a male escort." He wrote of the prostitution allegation: "I won't deny it, or that I acted in several adult movies 15 years ago under names like Pierre LaBranche and Rod Majors." The following day, Alan Colmes, a liberal Fox News commentator, twice asked Sanchez whether he had worked as a male prostitute. Sanchez answered "Yes" to both questions.
Colmes confronted Sanchez with an allegation that he had run thinly-disguised prostitution ads in The New York Blade, a gay newspaper, under the name, "No Regrets Massage." Sanchez denied a "No Regrets Massage" connection, but acknowledged working as a masseur and advertising in gay publications. He claimed to be a licensed massage therapist, but the registry of licensed massage therapists in New York, where he resides, shows no record of his holding a massage license there.
Sanchez later claimed that his admissions of prostitution had been misconstrued by Colmes and fabricated by Salon.com. He also denied accusations by gay bloggers that he had registered and operated a website, Excellent Top.com, which offered an escort’s services for $250 an hour for "out calls" and $200 an hour for "in calls." The site owner's address is the same as Sanchez's address.
In March 2007, Sanchez claimed to have been made a partner in an unnamed marketing firm. In May and June 2007, his personal website featured audio and video clips that he recorded while traveling as an embedded blogger and reporter. A number of right wing publications, particularly World Net Daily and a Fox News website, have featured Sanchez’s articles. In 2008, he announced his intention to write a book to be titled, Gay Jihad: What the radical homosexual movement has in store for you and your family. As of late 2009, no book had been published.
As late as 2009, Sanchez was making occasional appearances on Fox programs. In late 2009, he moved to California, and in 2010 he claimed to have been given a "project development" job by a large company in L.A. Throughout 2009 and into 2010, Sanchez occasionally sent messages through a Twitter account, emphasizing his right-wing views.