British businessmen charged with illegally making sperm available on the Internet

LONDON (AP) — Two British men made a profit by illegally running a Web site that made sperm available to women who want to conceive, prosecutors alleged Monday.

Nigel Woodforth and Ricky Gage are accused of earning 250,000 pounds ($385,895) by running an online company that introduced anonymous, would-be sperm donors to women looking to have a child.

Prosecutors told a jury at a London court that Woodforth, 43, ran the company from the basement of his home. The two men did not have a license to procure or distribute sperm, as required by British law.

Nearly 800 women who paid to use the company's services were given access to details of a list of anonymous men. The women could choose the ethnicity, height, and even hair color of the sperm donor they wanted to use, and the sperm was delivered to their homes through a courier company, prosecutors said.

The two men face two charges of procuring sperm illegally, both of which they denied. They argued their company was just an introduction service and that users of the service made their own private agreement.

The men were arrested in April 2009, after an investigating police officer posed first as a potential sperm donor and then as a woman seeking a donor.