Girls Do Porn Owner, Employees Charged With Sex Trafficking – Rolling Stone
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Porn Company Owner, Employees Charged With Sex Trafficking

The company is already going through a civil trial after 22 women accused Girls Do Porn of hiring them to shoot porn under false pretenses

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The owner and three employees of Girls Do Porn, the porn company accused of lying to and coercing women into shooting content for them, were arrested and charged with sex trafficking on Thursday.

According to an FBI press release, Girls Do Porn owners Michael Pratt, along with chief videographer Matthew Wolfe, administrative assistant Valerie Moser, and male performer Ruben “Andre” Garcia, were charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. Garcia, Pratt, and Wolfe were also charged with sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges are separate from an ongoing trial in San Diego Superior Court, in which 22 women are accusing the company of recruiting them to shoot porn under false pretenses. In their suit, the women claim that they were told that they were being hired for modeling jobs, for which they would be paid $5,000, and were not informed that they would be making pornographic content until they arrived on set. During testimony earlier this week, Moser, who spoke on behalf of the plaintiffs, said that Pratt instructed her not to tell recruits the name of the company, telling her to call it “Plus One Media” instead.

The women allege that the producers coerced them into shooting porn by telling them that the videos would only be distributed privately to individual buyers overseas, and that the content would not appear online. The women claim that the footage was then uploaded to the tube site Pornhub, and that they were subject to doxxing and harassment as a result. The suit alleges that Girls Do Porn benefited tremendously off exploiting the women, with its websites generating about $17 million.

In response to the initial complaint against the company, Pratt denied the charges, saying through his attorney that the plaintiffs had “failed to exercise ordinary and reasonable care on their own behalf,” and thus had no right to claim damages. He also attempted to stall the trial by declaring bankruptcy in January, writing in a text message that “as soon as i bankrupt the business they [the plaintiffs] are fucked.” Last month, he fled the country and is officially considered a “fugitive” by the FBI.

Last July, Pornhub, which has positioned itself within the adult industry as something of an advocate for sexual education and informed consent, told Motherboard that it had removed the videos featuring the plaintiffs from its website, as well as some of the branding associated with Girls Do Porn. Yet as of this writing, Pornhub still hosts Girls Do Porn content, which has generated hundreds of millions of views. In response to questions from Motherboard about why it continued to host the content despite the allegations against the company, Pornhub vice president Corey Price wrote that “not all of the Girls Do Porn videos are being accused of improprieties,” and that the company felt that removing the videos mentioned in the lawsuit “was the appropriate course of action for right now.” Pornhub did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

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