A San Diego schemer for porn website GirlsDoPorn was sentenced Monday to 20 years behind bars for human trafficking.
Thirty-one-year-old Ruben Garcia, who pleaded guilty in December, forced young women to film pornographic videos and lied to them about their distribution.
“Garcia and the company’s co-owners, Michael Pratt and Matthew Wolfe, tricked young women into filming the videos by posting modeling ads and then coercing their victims into filming porn, the Justice Department said in a press release,” the New York Daily News reported. “Wolfe is still awaiting trial, Pratt fled and is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.”
“Garcia, Pratt and Wolfe clearly knew their scheme was illegal because they forced victims to sign lengthy contracts and required them to film videos saying they weren’t coerced into making porn, according to the feds,” the report added. “They also convinced the women that the videos would never appear online, but always intended to post them and spread them wildly, the feds said.”
Activist and #TraffickingHub movement founder Laila Mickelwait celebrated the sentencing on Monday.
“JUSTICE SERVED: Today Ruben Garcia of the Pornhub sex trafficking partner channel ‘GirlsDoPorn’ was sentenced to 20 years in prison. #Traffickinghub,” she posted to Twitter.
JUSTICE SERVED: Today Ruben Garcia of the Pornhub sex trafficking partner channel “GirlsDoPorn” was sentenced to 20 years in prison. #Traffickinghub
— Laila Mickelwait (@LailaMickelwait) June 15, 2021
In January 2020, Garcia, Pratt, and Wolfe were ordered to payout $13 million to 22 victims. The “civil court judge ordered GirlsDoPorn to remove the videos from its site and convince other sites, including Pornhub.com, to do the same,” the NYDN report noted.
Mickelwait stood alongside one of the GirlsDoPorn survivors in October.
“This is a brave survivor of the Pornhub sex trafficking partner channel ‘Girls Do Porn’. Her story is heartbreaking. She is one of many women trafficked for Pornhub’s profit. Listen to survivors. #Traffickinghub,” the activist captioned the video post.
The survivor said her predators profited off of every click from her videos as she fought off thoughts for years about wanting to die. Though 22 victims were legally recognized, she estimated about 100 victims in total from the traffickers.
This is a brave survivor of the Pornhub sex trafficking partner channel “Girls Do Porn”. Her story is heartbreaking. She is one of many women trafficked for Pornhub’s profit. Listen to survivors. #Traffickinghub pic.twitter.com/qEHaNxnxx4
— Laila Mickelwait (@LailaMickelwait) October 9, 2020
“This defendant lured one victim after another with fake modeling ads, false promises and deceptive front companies, ultimately devolving to threats to coerce these women into making sex videos,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a press release on the matter, which was issued in November. “Even when victims told Garcia how the scheme had devastated their lives, he showed no regard for their well-being. The crime was utterly callous in nature and there is no excuse or justification for his conduct, which was driven purely by greed. The harm inflicted by this defendant will last a lifetime for his victims. Hopefully today’s sentence will offer them a sense of justice.”
“Ruben Garcia chose to exploit and deceive these young women for his personal satisfaction and financial gain and today he was held accountable for those decisions,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner added. “Today’s sentence is the first in this case, however it is definitely not the last. I hope this sentence serves as a start to the healing process and brings some sense of justice for these young women, each with their whole life ahead of them.”