GirlsDoPorn victims win rights to their videos forcing PornHub and others to take them down

The women have been battling for control of the videos since 2016

Graig Graziosi
Monday 20 December 2021 19:56

Related video: Company behind PornHub sued by victims of sexual abuse

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A group of hundreds of women who argued they were tricked or coerced into making pornographic films have won the rights to the videos after a lengthy legal battle.

The US Department of Justice ruled in the favour of hundreds of women who wanted ownership of videos they appeared in that were posted on the websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys.

As a result, more than 400 women can demand that their videos are removed from the websites.

In addition to demanding that the two websites remove the videos, the women are also likely to target Google, Pornhub and other pornography websites with takedown requests.

Ruben Andre Garcia, who produced the GirlsDoPorn videos, was accused of coercing women into appearing in the pornographic films. He was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison last summer.

According to the accusers, the women would respond to advertisements for clothed modelling work and would then be pressured to appear in ostensibly anonymous adult films. The producers would offer the woman substantial pay in exchange for appearing in the videos.

The women accusing Garcia said they were told that the videos would be sold on DVDs and only in overseas markets. In reality, he knew the videos would be posted on porn sites across the internet under the brand name "GirlsDoPorn”. He pleaded guilty in 2020.

Garcia has been ordered to pay $18m in restitution and to give up his rights to the videos and images associated with the women.

The women have been battling Garcia over the rights to the videos since 2016.

"This is an extremely important ruling that returns power to the victims by giving them control of the images and videos that caused them so much pain and suffering," Southern California district acting US attorney Randy Grossman said after the announcement.

While the legal side of the battle may be over for the victims, the FBI is still seeking one defendant, who they claim to be the ringleader of the GirlsDoPorn operation.

According to the FBI, Michael James Pratt is "wanted for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to recruit young adult and minor women to engage in commercial sex acts by force, fraud, and coercion."

“The defendant lied and tricked these women, made millions along the way, and left his co-conspirators to face justice while he fled,” Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner said. “Michael James Pratt is a danger to society, regardless of where he is, and is likely still victimizing people while on the run with his continued lies and false promises.”

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for public information leading to the arrest of Mr Pratt.

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