GirlsDoPorn Victim Sues Aylo

LOS ANGELES—A victim of the GirlsDoPorn sex trafficking scheme on September 8 filed a federal lawsuit in California against Aylo, the parent company of Pornhub and affiliated companies, accusing Aylo of aiding and abetting the criminal operation of GirlsDoPorn and its executives such as Michael Pratt. 

Kristy Althaus, who has since changed her name and is now called ‘Jane Doe’ in the lawsuit, was one of the most popular models featured in GirlsDoPorn scenes, given her status as a teen beauty pageant contestant in Colorado. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Aylo, which was recently rebranded from MindGeek, in the case filing in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Doe also claims that she was forced into performing in GirlsDoPorn scenes because of fear for her personal safety and that of her family. Exhibits presented in the complaint include a message chain screenshotted by Doe showing Pratt threatening her with the “graveyard.”

After a criminal inquiry, federal and state law enforcement agencies shuttered GirlsDoPorn and indicted key figures in the criminal scheme such as Pratt, who fled in 2019 and became a fugitive, landing on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted list. Last December Pratt was apprehended in Spain by local and U.S. agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

An Aylo spokesperson shared a general statement that was also published by other national media outlets. 

“The safety of our community is our number one priority, so we are proud to have instituted Trust and Safety policies that surpass those of any other major user-generated platform on the internet,” the Aylo spokesperson said, adding that “out of respect for the integrity of court proceedings, our policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation. ... We look forward to the facts being fully and fairly aired in that forum.” 

Doe claims that Pornhub circulated and profited from Doe’s exploitation for several years, including up to GirlsDoPorn’s official shuttering and the suspension of the studio’s content partnership with Pornhub at the time. Millions of dollars were paid out to a class action of Does in a ruling against the parent company of the defunct studio several years ago.

Filings in these class action cases were attached to the complaint in the Doe-Althaus case as the plaintiff’s exhibits of evidence. Legal counsel for the defendants has yet to file a reply to the initial complaint.

Doe is represented by counsel for Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, PC, of Englewood, Colo., and Boucher, LLP, of Woodland Hills, Calif.