AP

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.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

13 hours ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

2 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

3 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

9 days ago

Porn site founder accused of sex trafficking caught in Spain