San Diego, CA–A U.S. district judge has ruled that all rights to videos and images produced in the GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys sex trafficking case be awarded to the hundreds of victims who are featured in the footage posted to the adult websites.
U.S. District Judge Sammartino issued the ruling as part of a restitution order in the prosecution of Ruben Andre Garcia, an adult film performer, and producer who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring with the owners of the GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys adult websites to recruit young women to appear in the sex videos using force, fraud, and coercion.
In addition to granting the rights to the videos and images to the victims, Judge Sammartino ordered Garcia to pay approximately $18 million in restitution to the victims.
To address the problem that hundreds of victims, in this case, have been and continue to be victimized by the posting and viewing of their GirlsDoPorn (GDP) and GirlsDoToys (GDT) images and videos, Judge Sammartino outlined the following conditions:
– Garcia, aka “Jonathan,” has no right to use, publish, or otherwise exploit GirlsDoPorn or GirlsDoToys images, likenesses, or videos;
– All purported model releases and other agreements between GDP and/or GDT and its models purporting to give GDP and/or GDT the right to use, publish, or otherwise exploit its models’ images, likenesses, or videos are void and unenforceable;
– All transfers, licenses, or leases of the right to use, publish, or otherwise exploit the models’ images, likenesses, or videos by GDP and/or GDT to any third parties are void;
– Each model holds superior right, title, and interest in the images, likenesses, and videos depicting that model produced by GDP and/or GDT; and
– Each model shall have and recover all property that GDP and/or GDT took from them, including images, likenesses, videos, and copyrights.
“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,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We hope this helps the victims close a difficult chapter in their lives.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team and the FBI for the relentless pursuit of justice in this case.
“An important step in this long healing process is for the victims to be able to take back control of their lives,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “This ruling helps to facilitate that shift while the FBI aggressively pursues the lone outstanding fugitive in this case – and its ringleader – Michael James Pratt.”
According to court documents, Garcia admitted that beginning in approximately 2013 and continuing up to October 2019, Michael James Pratt, 36, Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 37, Theodore Wilfred Gyi, 42, Valerie Moser, 38, and others, allegedly participated in a scheme to recruit victims to engage in commercial sex acts using force, fraud, and coercion.
To recruit victims to appear in videos for the websites, the defendants lied to the victims and told them that the videos would never be posted online, that the videos would never be released in the United States, and that no one who knew the women would ever find out about the videos, representations that the defendants knew were false. Hundreds of women from cities throughout the United States and Canada were recruited to appear in videos based upon these material misrepresentations. The defendants illegally obtained the images and videos of the victims using force, fraud, and coercion.
The victims’ sex acts were posted on both websites. Visitors to the sites were charged a subscription fee to access the websites’ content. It generated at least $17 million in revenue for its owners.
The next hearing in the ongoing case is March 11, 2022, for motions as to defendant Mathew Wolfe, whose trial is slated to begin June 20, 2022.
Any victims seeking the right to enforce this order and any additional victims of these alleged crimes are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or go to https://tips.fbi.gov/