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The Founder Of Girls Do Porn, Who Had Been On The Run From Sex Crime Charges, Has Been Arrested In Spain

The founder of Girls Do Porn, a website that published videos of women who said they were coerced into making sex tapes, was arrested in Spain this week after being on the run for years from sex trafficking and child sex abuse images charges.

Placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list earlier this year, Michael James Pratt, a New Zealand native, was apprehended in Madrid on Wednesday after checking into a hotel under a false identity, El Español reported.

The Spanish National Police released a video Friday showing Pratt lying facedown on the floor as officers searched and cuffed him before he was taken into custody. The FBI confirmed his arrest in a statement Friday.

Pratt is being held in Spain pending extradition to the US, where he faces a litany of federal sex crime charges, including sex trafficking, production of child sex abuse images, sex trafficking of a minor, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in connection with Girls Do Porn, the FBI said.

He and his co-conspirators are accused of posting internet ads about modeling jobs to lure young women before pressuring and manipulating them into shooting sex tapes. Investigators said they lied to the women, saying that the videos would not be widely disseminated because they were for a private collector overseas and they would remain anonymous. However, Girls Do Porn distributed the videos after they were shot, and they appeared on popular porn websites.

Pratt victimized hundreds of young women, federal prosecutors said, including at least one girl under the age of 18. Investigators said that victims were forced into performing nonconsensual sexual acts, and when they wanted their videos removed from the websites, Pratt and his partners threatened and intimidated them.

“He used deceit and lies and vindictiveness to torture the young women he caught in his snare,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Renee Green said in a September news release announcing Pratt’s inclusion on the list and the $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Pratt fled the US in 2019 as a civil lawsuit against him and his business partners was underway in San Diego. Twenty-two women accused him and his co-conspirators of coercing them into making porn videos and then lying about their distribution, leading to severe harassment and psychological pain.

A judge ruled in favor of the women in January 2020, ordering Girls Do Porn to pay them $12.7 million in damages and granting them ownership rights to the content.

Several of Pratt’s business partners and employees have pleaded guilty to sex crime charges. The website’s co-owner, Matthew Isaac Wolfe, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion in July. Wolfe’s sentencing hearing was postponed to Feb. 1, 2023, court records show.

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