GirlsDoPorn's Pratt Pleads Not Guilty After Partner Gets 14 Years

SAN DIEGO—Michael James Pratt, the founder of the criminally-operated GirlsDoPorn website, appeared for the first time in a San Diego federal district court this afternoon on the 19-count indictment against him on charges including sex trafficking, production of child pornography and money laundering, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf. 

A hearing is set for Thursday to determine whether Pratt will be granted bail. He will first have to be determined not to be a flight risk, but this would be a hard sell given the fact that he fled the country in 2019 just before the civil trial against him on similar charges got underway. Pratt was arrested by law enforcement in Spain in 2022.

Pratt was placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's most wanted list along with terrorists and drug cartel bosses.

Pratt's court appearance today followed the sentencing earlier in the day at the same courthouse of his former business partner, Matthew Isaac Wolfe. Wolfe was sentenced to 14 years in prison for crimes related to his involvement in the operation of GirlsDoPorn.

Wolfe pleaded guilty in the summer of 2022. U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino declared that Wolfe had an "essential role" in the GirlsDoPorn criminal enterprise, dismissing his defense's argument that he held a small role.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Foster, one of the prosecutors, said in court, "The idea that he was just a small fry, just a cog in the wheel, was not accurate.” The victims also said that Wolfe had a significant role in the criminal enterprise.

Several co-conspirators have either been sentenced or are set to be sentenced in the GirlsDoPorn criminal trial.

In October, co-founder Douglas Wiederhold was indicted on five counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, and a count of conspiracy. MomPOV was created as a platform similar to GirlsDoPorn but focused on older women.

During the commission of these crimes, GirlsDoPorn and MomPOV were content partners with Pornhub. Pornhub's parent company, Aylo, agreed to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the Eastern District of New York, to avoid prosecution.

Conditions in the DPA require Aylo to continue overhauling its trust and safety programming, hire a third-party monitor to report to the Eastern District of New York on its progress in complying with the agreement, and admit wrongdoing.

That wrongdoing stems from the fact that Aylo profited, directly and indirectly, from criminal activity instigated by Pratt. The DPA is not an admission of guilt, and the company has not been convicted of any crimes by the United States Department of Justice.

GirlsDoPorn victims, including the woman formerly known as Kristy Althaus, have filed as Jane Does in several civil suits against Aylo.

This is a developing story.

(AVN Managing Editor Peter Warren contributed to this report.)

Image by Ashby C Sorensen from Pixabay