Huge Win for CSAM Survivors as Porn Titan MindGeek’s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit is Denied

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (February 9, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said the judge’s ruling allowing the class action lawsuit Doe #1 et al v. MG Freesites LTD et alto proceed is a significant victory for the courageous survivors of childhood sex trafficking and Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) whose videos and images of their sexual abuse were posted on Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned sites. 
 
“This ruling brings the brave survivors—of child sex trafficking and CSAM—one step closer to justice. We are encouraged that MindGeek-owned Pornhub will finally be held to account for profiting from child sex abuse, rape, and sex trafficking material,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. 
 
“This is the second lawsuit against Pornhub that a judge has allowed to proceed, despite MindGeek’s claim that it has legal immunity under CDA Section 230. This ruling represents a complete rejection of such claims. The Court made clear what we have said all along: CDA 230 does not provide immunity for the knowing possession and distribution of CSAM. This ruling is one step forward in our quest to seek justice for survivors of Pornhub’s exploitation empire – a step made possible by our courageous plaintiffs,” Hawkins added. 

Plaintiff Jane Doe #1 was just 16 years old when she was drugged and raped by a man in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The child sexual abuse and rape of Jane Doe #1 was filmed. That same man entered into an agreement with MindGeek to share profits from views and downloads of Jane Doe #1’s victimization on MindGeek’s websites. MindGeek reviewed, categorized, tagged, and disseminated the images and videos depicting the rape and sexual exploitation of sixteen-year-old Jane Doe #1. 

At no time did MindGeek or Pornhub attempt to verify Jane Doe #1’s identity, age, inquire about her status as a victim of trafficking, or otherwise protect or warn against her traffickers before or while the video of her being drugged and raped was sold, downloaded, viewed and otherwise advertised on Pornhub. 

When Plaintiff Jane Doe #2 was still a minor, a sex trafficker forced her to participate in the creation of sexually explicit videos. These videos of Jane Doe #2’s sexual abuse were uploaded and disseminated through websites owned, operated and/or controlled by MindGeek including, Pornhub. Neither Pornhub, nor any other website, owned or operated by MindGeek undertook any measure to verify Jane Doe #2’s identity or age. As a result, child sex abuse material depicting Jane Doe #2 was distributed broadly throughout the world on MindGeek’s internet platforms. 

The plaintiffs are suing MindGeek for financially benefiting from their abuse, which violates the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, among other laws. 

The legal team representing Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 consists of: 

  • The Zarzaur Law Firm of Birmingham, Alabama; 
  • Prince Glover Hayes, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; 
  • Levin Papantonio Rafferty, of Pensacola, Florida; 
  • Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;  
  • Conrad O’Brien PC, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and 
  •  The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, of Washington D.C. 

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center offers survivors of pornography-related abuse a way to seek justice. More information can be found at: https://sexualexploitationlawsuits.com

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

Previous
Next

Stories

Survivor Lawsuit Against Twitter Moves to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors

Instagram Makes Positive Safety Changes via Improved Reporting and Direct Message Tools

Sharing experiences may be a restorative and liberating process. This is a place for those who want to express their story.

Support Dignity

There are more ways that you can support dignity today, through an online gift, taking action, or joining our team.

Defend Human Dignity. Donate Now.

Defend Dignity.
Donate Now.