December 16, 2020

STATEMENT – 40+ Sex Trafficking Survivors Rightly Seek Justice From Pornhub

Lawsuit Confronts Narrative that Pornhub Verified Accounts are “Safer”

Washington, DC (December 16, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) commended the over 40 survivors of abuse and sex trafficking for filing suit against Pornhub for its role in their exploitation. First trafficked by a former pornography production company called Girls Do Porn,  whom they successfully sued, the women were further exploited by Pornhub who refused to remove their coerced videos. The Girls Do Porn company uploaded the exploitive videos to Pornhub, which monetized them, profiting from their victimization. The lawsuit was filed on December 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California by the Holm Law Group PC and The O’Brien Law Firm, APLC.

“It’s important to note that Pornhub posted the illicit videos on its ‘verified accounts’ platform, which the company asserts is somehow ‘safer.’ Pornhub’s refusal to pull down the videos despite repeated demands to do so by the women belies  the absurd pretense of safety. Pornhub is a predator that continued to victimize these women even after the they had obtained a multi-million dollar judgement against Girls Do Porn for trafficking them. As Pornhub’s actions show, there has been a practical merger between the illicit sex trafficking business and the online pornography industry. They are now virtually inseparable,” said Benjamin Bull, general counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Pornhub continued to host and promote GirlsDoPorn and its material on its platform throughout the plaintiffs’ civil lawsuit and all the way up until federal criminal charges were formally filed against GirlsDoPorn’s operators,” Bull said. “Once again, Pornhub must be held accountable for outrageously profiting from videos of abuse and sex trafficking.”

In January 2020, 22 survivors of GirlsDoPorn’s crimes of sexual abuse, exploitation, and sex trafficking were awarded $12.7 million after a civil lawsuit was decided in their favor. The men behind GirlsDoPorn are still facing federal sex trafficking charges for their actions.

The original civil lawsuit and the federal criminal charges were related to the way that GirlsDoPorn groomed victims using false pretenses, trapped victims in hotel rooms, manipulated and threatened victims into signing contracts and making videos, and lied to victims about how said videos would be distributed and their anonymity protected.

“These brave survivors of abuse and sex trafficking are seeking to hold Pornhub accountable and obtain some degree of justice, and we commend them for seeking justice,” Bull said.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

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