GirlsDoPorn: Michael Pratt still missing as PornHub reaches settlement with victims

The San Diego-based porn company not only pressurized the women to do porn videos, but also lied to them about the distribution of the content


                            GirlsDoPorn: Michael Pratt still missing as PornHub reaches settlement with victims
Image used for representation (Getty Images)

Victims of the GirlsDoPorn case have reached a mutual settlement with Mindgeek, Pornhub's parent company, as per a court document filed Friday, October 15. However, the amount of the settlement has not been revealed. 

Brian Holm, the women's lawyer, said, “The Parties reached a mutual resolution to resolve the dispute and the terms are confidential.” The agreement happened two years after GirlsDoPorn owners were convicted of intimidating and forcing 22 women into having sex on camera.

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What was the GirlsDoPorn case?

Not only did the San Diego-based porn company owners pressurized the women to do porn videos, they also lied to them about the distribution of the content. They told the victims that the x-rated films would only be distributed in foreign countries and to private collectors, but instead, they were uploaded on the GirlsDoPorn website.

Besides, the videos also appeared on Pornhub and other porn sites. The personal information of the women was also made public, which resulted in many thinking about suicide. A 43-page complaint filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California explained the trauma of the women. It stated, “As a proximate result of MindGeek’s knowing financial benefit and participation in GirlsDoPorn’s sex trafficking venture, Plaintiffs have suffered damages, including, but not limited to, severe emotional distress, significant trauma, attempted suicide, and social and familial ostracization.”

However, in 2019, the owners were found guilty. Six people were charged by the local US Attorney's Office while three of them pleaded guilty. Producer and porn actor Ruben Andre Garcia was sent to jail for two decades. But the website's owner, Michael James Pratt, is still missing. 

GirlsDoPorn owners were slapped with a lawsuit by 40 victims for several allegations, including knowingly benefiting from GirlsDoPorn videos on Pornhub and failing to moderate the pictures going viral on its network of tube sites. Later, the suit included ten more victims, making the number of plaintiffs 50, and demanded more than $1 million each in damages along with the money Mindgeek made by hosting and promoting the illegal videos.

But in July of this, a joint motion was filed by the women and the porn company to put a hold on the proceedings for 30 days as they wanted to discuss a “possible resolution of this action (including potential mediation or other alternative dispute resolution.” And the brief court document filed Friday confirmed that the settlement was reached between the two parties.

Meanwhile, Twitter was also buzzing a lot after the settlement was announced. A user tweeted, “A silver lining is that the criminals behind the Girls Do Porn debacle have been shutdown and are paying for their crimes and that this doesn't generally represent the industry.” Another one wrote, “Good!!  The best thing is they are ADMITTING GUILT. Screw MINDGEEK and other big corporation who exploit people.  Lawsuits seem to be the only vehicular of change that actually gets results.”

“As a reminder, GirlsDoPorn's owners/ employees are currently ensnared in a human trafficking case in the Southern District of CA. Owner Michael Pratt remains a fugitive, with the FBI offering a $50,000 reward for a tip leading to his arrest,” Bianca Bruno, reporter at @CourthouseNews, added.



 

 



 

 



 

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