- Feb 19, 2022
- 62d 10h 5m
“I Didn’t Know If They’d Kill Me”: What Happened When This Jane Doe was Trafficked by GirlsDoPornIn an exclusive interview, Jane Doe #18 told us her experience of what happened before, during, and after she was sex trafficked by GirlsDoPorn. This is her story.
JUNE 16, 2022
Fight the New Drug interviewed Jane Doe #18, and this is her account. FTND does not have access to all court documents from the GirlsDoPorn civil case that ruled in the Jane Does’ favor. We have fact-checked details in this account to the best of our ability.
Trigger warning: The following post contains explicit descriptions of abuse, rape, and sex acts. Reader discretion is heavily advised.
“I was really scared. I didn’t know if they were going to kill me. Watching the video now, I can see it in my eyes. The quivering of my lips and my voice, I know exactly how I was feeling in that moment. But to anyone else who sees it, they see what they want and they think I was complicit.”
Meet Jane Doe #18.
You might have heard about the infamous “GirlsDoPorn” case, but you may not know the backstory, let alone the full account of one of the trafficked women.
GirlsDoPorn (GDP) was a pornographic website and production company that coerced young women into performing in adult videos. The company capitalized off of the “casting couch” trope and marketed the women featured as young amateurs doing porn for the first time. The concept was wildly popular with each episode garnering hundreds of thousands—even millions—of views and generating an estimated $17 million. The series went on for years, by some estimates from 2015 until 2019, and featured over 500 episodes with different women.
The GDP official profile on Pornhub was “verified,” meaning it had a blue checkmark beside its name and every uploaded video. It was reportedly one of the most popular uploaders on Pornhub.
In 2019, twenty-two women sued GirlsDoPorn. The testimonies of the Jane Does revealed lies and tactics GDP owners and employees used to abuse, trick, and degrade these women before, during, and after shoots. In October 2019, the FBI disclosed their own investigation into the company when they charged GDP owners, Michael Pratt and Matthew Wolfe, and male performer Andre Garcia, with sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion. Wolfe and Garcia were arrested, but Pratt had already fled the country, possibly back to his native country New Zealand, and remains a fugitive to this day. The criminal investigation is still ongoing.
In December 2020, Garcia pleaded guilty to the sex trafficking charges, “admitting that he conspired with the owners of the adult websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys to fraudulently coerce young women to appear in sex videos,” according to the US Department of Justice. The cameraman for the company, Teddy, also pleaded guilty to conspiring with the operators of the adult websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys to fraudulently coerce young women to perform in porn.
Most recently, Valorie Moser, former bookkeeper for the adult website GirlsDoPorn, pleaded guilty in federal court in April 2021 to conspiring with the operators of the website to fraudulently coerce young women to perform in porn.
Related: How Porn and Sex Trafficking are Connected
The website was shut down in January 2020 after the civil case ruled in the Jane Does’ favor, awarding them $12.7 million in damages and the copyrights to their videos, but for the victims involved this was far from the end of the story.Sex trafficking doesn’t always look like the movies—young women kidnapped at gunpoint, ferried across national borders, and forced into sexual servitude. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines sex trafficking as a commercial sex act “induced by force, fraud, or coercion.” This phrase has helped bring awareness to domestic trafficking, such as the GDP case.
In December 2020, over 50 GDP exploitation survivors filed suit against Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, for allegedly knowingly profiting from images and videos of their sex trafficking nightmares and failing to properly moderate MindGeek-owned sites for the abusive videos. The suit, which was filed in the Southern District of California, seeks punitive and compensatory damages of more than $80 million.
In an exclusive interview, Jane Doe #18 gave an account of her experience before, during, and after she was sex trafficked by GirlsDoPorn. This is her story.
She was living with her parents, hundreds of miles away from California and taking time to heal from an abusive marriage she fled eight months prior. Jane taught yoga, wrote poetry, and did some fitness modeling.
It wasn’t uncommon for Jane to look for work opportunities on Craigslist, so when she saw a post for “professional fitness models” linking to a polished-looking website, it seemed like a great opportunity. Jane contacted the company and sent photos of her yoga practice.
Doe #18, who began her testimony on Aug. 21, first encountered Pratt’s business in February 2016. She was 18 at the time, in college, and looking for a job on Craigslist. She had been applying to jobs for a few months—some at local restaurants and sandwich shops, some for random gigs, but mostly for modeling or brief acting jobs. She found one listing titled “Exceptionally Cute Ladies Wanted.” It linked to a website called BeginModeling.com, an unremarkable-looking webpage with several professional photos of women and a contact form. Doe #18 said she filled out the form—identifying her height, weight, hair color, and eye color—and attached a few pictures. She got a response not long later, but didn’t reply. “It was pretty clear it was adult work,” Doe #18 said, “and I wasn’t interested in doing that.”
Not long after the first email, Doe #18 was contacted again—this time, by a man who called himself “Jonathan N.,” which the plaintiffs’ attorney, Brian Holm, and several witnesses claim was a pseudonym for both Pratt and his male actor, Andre Garcia. Doe #18 says she FaceTimed with “Jonathan N.” because he suggested that there was an option to do clothed modeling shoots for $300 each. But on the call, “Jonathan N.” kept returning to the topic of nude modeling.
“He said it would be 30 minutes of filming sex,” Doe #18 recalled in court. “He said it would be $5,000 dollars. He said specifically about five positions, five to seven minutes each. He would fly me out to San Diego, pay for a hotel. And then he just repeatedly said, ‘Not online, not online, not in the U.S.’ It would be on DVDs to Australia, the UK. And then he said a few other really remote countries, I don’t remember. And then I asked if I could just do regular modeling, and he said no, it had to be both.”
Doe #18 said she had concerns, but the fee seemed hard to turn down. Five thousand dollars was a lot of money. She was in school, without a job. Her mom was helping her, but she also had two other kids in college. Asking her for money was “the last thing I wanted to do,” Doe #18 said. But “Jonathan N.” promised she could talk to other actresses. There were supposedly more than 200 women, many of whom were Instagram models or sorority girls, who had taken the job and never been found out. On the phone, “Jonathan N.” also mentioned that he had already booked a flight and hotel. He could cancel, he said, but he wanted to get the reservation just in case. The flight left in four days.
In an email response dated Feb. 22, 2016, Doe #18 wrote: “I am just hesitant on my face being out there or my name… Mostly if someone important in my future sees this.”
Jonathan followed up with the names and numbers of two female references: Amberlyn Clark and Kaylin Wright, both of whom had allegedly acted with him and neither of whom had been discovered. One was even a professional cheerleader—much more recognizable than Doe #18. (Clark testified Aug. 21, just before Doe #18, and stated under oath that she had never filmed scenes with Girls Do Porn, and had been paid by Garcia to tell prospective candidates that their videos wouldn’t be put online, but would go to private collectors outside the U.S.. She said she was paid roughly a couple hundred dollars per person, depending on the “grade level” of the girl. “There was a grade level A, B, and C, pretty much on the scale of attractiveness of the woman,” Clark said. “Pretty much I would get paid more for an A-level girl than a C-level girl.”)
Doe #18 texted Wright about her concerns. “I mean, I asked her all of my worries about it,” she said in court. “I wanted to make sure that as another woman who had done it, it wouldn’t be online. It wouldn’t be in America and that my name wouldn’t be used in it. I mean, not just that text alone, but I mean all of the texts together really smoothed my worries that, you know, it would be safe, and it wouldn’t be going anywhere in the United States. It would be going where they told me. It smoothed almost all my worries.”
Kaylin responded: “Yeah. So it goes out to wealthier countries, yeah, DVDs and stuff like that, but nothing online.”
On the early morning of Feb. 28, 2016, Doe #18 flew to San Diego. The deal was to shoot for 30 minutes—five positions, five to seven minutes each—for $5,000. The tape would not go online. It would not be in the United States. It would be sold only on DVD in Australia and the U.K.. Doe #18 had grown up in Southern California, and had been to San Diego once or twice for soccer tournaments, but she didn’t know the area well. When she got to the airport that day, Doe #18 said, she was stranded for over an hour. After a while, she was picked up by Teddy Gyi, the company’s cameraman. Doe #18 said she was surprised by the disorganization—they drove around aimlessly for hours, picking up food, stopping in an apartment, switching cars, and meeting at the wrong hotel, before winding up at the shoot. In the hotel elevator, when a stranger commented on the camera, Gyi said they were “filming a wedding in town.”
Once in the hotel room, Doe #18 went to makeup, chatting nervously with the artist. Then the male talent, Andre Garcia, walked in. “When he comes in, he just immediately goes to the bathroom and throws up for maybe five to ten minutes,” Doe #18 recalled. “Teddy said that they had been drinking the night before, so I figured that was why. When he’s done, though, he just kind of puts the toilet seat down and sits on the toilet and then pulls out a joint and offers it to me.”
Doe #18 smoked with Garcia—a key sticking point in the trial, as her attorney would later claim it undermined her ability to sign contracts. She tried on the three outfits she’d brought, before Garcia settled on one. She signed some papers without reading them closely. (All the stuff she’d agreed to—anonymity, private distribution—that was all in there, the crew allegedly promised. Plus, Doe #18 recalled, they were under a time crunch; she needed to make her evening flight home.) But one thing Doe #18 did notice was her pay. Garcia paid her only $3,000, not the $5,000 previously agreed upon. He said she had bruises; she was pale. Doe #18 texted “Jonathan N.,” but didn’t know what else to say.
In the first moments of the shoot, the crew interviewed Doe #18 in front of the camera. It was a personal interview, covering intimate topics like, “my sex life, how I lost my virginity, where I had had sex before.” She shared details only her sisters and close friend knew; made a joke about an ex she never thought he would hear. Doe #18 said she was told to “play up” the fantasy of it, but didn’t think the interview would ever be public. Now that it is, Doe #18 said, “I feel humiliated.”
After the shoot finished, Doe #18 told the court, she was upset. The adult portion had gone much longer than she had been told, and involved more than she was comfortable with. The feeling got worse when Garcia and Gyi, who was still filming, blocked her from taking a shower and insisted on another interview. “At that point I just kind of broke down and started crying,” she said in her examination. “And then [Garcia] just kind of motioned for him to cut, and [Gyi] was like he was going to say something. But I just tried to be strong at that point and I tried to say, ‘No, I'm done.’ And I couldn't stop crying and then Andre just said, ‘I’m done, let her go.’ And so I just grabbed my stuff, and I left for the airport.”
When Doe #18 left the shoot, she asked “Jonathan N.” for a copy of her contract. She never received a copy. She never even heard the name of the company, “Girls Do Porn,” Two weeks later, a boy Jane went to high school with sent her a picture of his penis with a graphic sexual message. She was shocked and confused.
Then she discovered why.
A nearly hour-long video of that agonizing night was released on two major porn websites, including Pornhub. The title included her full legal name.
When Jane found out, she ran to the bathroom and was violently sick.
By the end of the day, Jane received nearly 50 messages through her social media accounts. Many were from people she grew up with, boys from her high school. Jane’s family soon found out and assumed she had consented, that she had sought out the filming gig for attention. The disappointment and humiliation were unbearable.
Jane had dreams, ambitions, and plans for the future. But she said, “As soon as that video came out, I just thought, everything I ever hoped for isn’t going to happen.”
In April 2016, after Doe #18’s video appeared online, it seemed unavoidable. In the week after it aired, the video spread quickly across her friend group, family, workplace, and school. Her video was not only on GirlsDoPorn.com, but on major tube sites like PornHub, and on forums, like ImagePost and Girlsdoporn.blogspot.com, where users posted photos of her taken from social media and class presentations she hadn’t made public. She was kicked off her cheerleading team; she began having panic attacks at work; once, she overheard a table of students talking about her video in the school cafeteria. “I had many different links sent to me and my friends,” she said in court. “It pretty much seemed like it was everywhere online.”
Doe #18 hadn’t mentioned the gig to her boyfriend, who she had been only casually seeing at the time of the shoot. But once it went public, she told him immediately. “It was terrible,” Doe #18 recalled in court. “I just knew that I wanted him to hear it from me instead of someone else, and as soon as I told him, I tried to explain, and he just said that he didn’t want to see me, he didn’t want to talk to me, and he didn’t think I was that type of person… He gets upset by it. I know that he’s heard about it from other people because he was on the baseball team at the time, and he says that he still has to deal with people talking to him about it, and that it embarrasses him a little bit. And it just causes strain between us because he says that since it came online, that I am just not the same person, my personality has changed, and there’s been times when he said that I’m just too depressed, and he can’t be around it, just stuff like that.”
Doe went to great lengths to escape the harassment. She moved 20 minutes away from her college campus to avoid everyday interactions. A psychiatrist prescribed her sertraline for the anxiety. And after hundreds of job applications went without a single response, she started putting her middle name on job applications, so the video wouldn’t come up in search engine results.
But the tape followed her around. In one application, for Doe #18’s current job as a legal assistant, an employer hired a private investigator to look into her background. After learning about the video, he claimed it didn’t bother him, so long as she was a good worker. But it came up in their conversations, through subtext and innuendo. “The most recent one was before I came here,” Doe #18 said during cross-examination. “He implied that he had watched it, and he said, ‘Oh, I didn’t like the way they treated you,’ and then, like, kind of half-smile broke across his face, and I just left the room.”
She texted and called “Jonathan N.” about taking the video down, but nothing went through. She emailed him, but he never responded. She texted Kaylin Wright, the reference who had assured her about privacy. She felt betrayed that another girl had convinced her to make herself vulnerable. “Hey, you lied to me, and they lied to me,” Doe #18 wrote in a text message entered in evidence. “It’s on a website now and my whole town back home knows. This ruined my life.”
Her only recourse was Google. Online, she read about another girl who had been exposed on the same website. The other girl had deleted her social media, and no one seemed to know her number. But Doe #18 did some digging. She Googled one of Girls Do Porn’s parent companies, BLL Media. “I Googled BLL Media lawsuit, just to be hopeful that somebody was doing something about it, and I found an article and I sent it to my mom,” she told attorney Brian Holm, who represents the 22 plaintiffs in court. “And she called you.”
In the final minutes of Doe #18’s testimony, the judge, Kevin A. Enright, sent her out of the courtroom so he could confer with the lawyers. Pratt’s defense attorneys wanted to screen the video of her in front of the courtroom—the video in which she is nude and stoned; the one she recorded believing it would be private—and have her narrate the scene to the public. Holm, her lawyer, called the request “undue harassment”—a microcosm of the central concern of the case. “Given what this case is about and keeping privacy,” Holm told the court, “she’s now going to be in a courtroom… discussing and watching a very private moment being completely nude. That’s exactly what the bill of lies she was sold [said] would never happen.”
On at least that front, the judge agreed.
Jane Doe #18
Only after the men involved were charged with sex trafficking did Pornhub finally remove the GirlsDoPorn channel, years after the civil lawsuit began and the lives of many young women were devastated. Unfortunately, the videos are still easily searchable on the site and other porn platforms.
“I make the mistake sometimes of looking it all up when I get a particularly disgusting message,” Jane told us. “I got one about two days ago on Facebook, and I was like, oh great, where was it just reposted? And we won. We went to trial. That was supposed to help, right?”
For the past four years since Jane was assaulted, the harassment has been devastating. While the Jane Does were promised anonymity in the civil case, their legal names, Jane Doe numbers, and corresponding GDP episodes have been published online. As a result, Jane has received death threats, “disgusting things” in the mail, and been stalked in person. Her home address was shared online, her parents have received letters, and other members of her family have had Facebook accounts hacked.
In that first year, Jane felt disgusted with herself and couldn’t look at her own naked body, even closing her eyes when getting in the shower. She has been admitted to the emergency room multiple times for alcohol intoxication, attempted overdoses, and other suicide attempts.
“I get triggered if someone checks me out at the supermarket,” Jane said. “If I’m on the train and a man smiles at me, I start feeling like I need to throw up. I think, ‘They’ve seen it. They recognize me.’”
To porn consumers, Jane reiterated how you can never know the reasons why a person is participating in a porn video in the first place. She was lured, forced, and coerced, and yet GDP marketed her video as if she was a willing and enthusiastic participant. But consumer ignorance doesn’t stop every view from hurting survivors.
“I’m sure most of those viewers were not aware that by watching the videos,” Jane said, “they were participating in human trafficking, assault, and rape.”
When she truly felt like her life was over, Jane said participating in the civil case gave her a small spark of hope. She felt like she was doing something to stop the abuse. When the FBI arrested two of the men involved, Jane’s family finally acknowledged that she wasn’t complicit. She says that felt the most validating.
When we asked her how she’s doing now, Jane said, “It’s never going to be okay, but I can get stronger. I can help other people and make sure that I give them the compassion and empathy I didn’t have.”
She steadied herself, about to face the world with the truth of her story.
TL;DR: fucking brutal mane
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