Porn site founder accused of sex trafficking caught in Spain

Dec 23, 2022, 8:35 PM | Updated: Dec 24, 2022, 11:57 am
This image made available by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation shows three photos of Michael...

This image made available by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation shows three photos of Michael James Pratt, the founder of a California-based porn empire that coerced young women into filming adult videos. The FBI says Pratt, who was on its Ten Most Wanted list, was arrested Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Madrid, three years after he fled while facing federal charges of sex trafficking and producing child pornography. (FBI via AP)

(FBI via AP)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The founder of a California-based porn empire that coerced young women into filming adult videos has been arrested in Spain, three years after he fled while facing federal sex-trafficking charges, the FBI announced.

Michael James Pratt was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. Spanish National Police arrested him Wednesday in Madrid, the FBI’s San Diego field office said in a statement Thursday.

Pratt, a New Zealand native, will be held in Spain pending extradition to San Diego to face charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor, production of child pornography and money laundering conspiracy.

Pratt, 40, founded the now-defunct GirlsDoPorn website in San Diego. In 2019, he and others were charged in San Diego with sex crimes after being targeted in a civil lawsuit by 22 women who claimed they were victimized by fraud and breach of contract.

The women said they were plied with alcohol and marijuana before being rushed through signing a contract, which they were not allowed to read. Some said they were sexually assaulted and held in hotel rooms unwillingly until adult filming had ended.

A judge found in favor of the women and handed down a $12.7 million judgment against Pratt, Matthew Isaac Wolfe and adult producer and performer Ruben Andre Garcia.

Wolfe, who handled day-to-day operations, finances, marketing and filming for the website, pleaded guilty this year to a single federal count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He awaits sentencing.

The other co-defendants also pleaded guilty. Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in prison and cameraman Theodore Gyi received a four-year sentence.

Valorie Moser, a former bookkeeper for GirlsDoPorn, also pleaded guilty last year.

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Porn site founder accused of sex trafficking caught in Spain