Pornhub settles sex trafficking lawsuit after 50 women claim they were coerced

The owner of Pornhub, one of the largest pornography sites in the world, has settled a lawsuit brought by 50 women who said they were victims of a horrific sex trafficking operation.

Girls Do Porn, an adult content producer, has been accused of coercing the women into having sex on camera and lying about how the explicit material would be shared.

The 50 women claimed that Pornhub was aware of the allegations but continued their partnership anyway.

Pornhub's parent company MindGeek released a statement where they said it did not tolerate the posting of illegal content on its platforms.

"The Parties reached a mutual resolution to resolve the dispute and the terms are confidential ," Brian Holm, the lawyer who represented the women said in an emailed statement.

MindGeek partnered with Girls Do Porn until October 2019.

The US Department of Justice shut down the porn producer and arrested and charged its senior staff with sex trafficking, BBC reports.

Girls Do Porn was found to have uploaded a number of explicit videos to Pornhub and other websites.

The porn producers misled cast members by claiming they were advertising modelling jobs and told the young women the real nature of the work at a later date.

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Girls Do Porn also allegedly told the women that the job would be completely anonymous and that their videos would not be posted on to the web.

But the videos were in fact distributed to Pornhub and other pornographic websites, according to US attorneys.

It was alleged in court that MindGeek had received complaints from the victims "detailing the fraud and coercion they were subject to by Girls Do Porn" but the company had decided not to end the partnership.

The original lawsuit against MindGeek was filed in December last year with 40 women, but the number later rose to 50.

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The women were reportedly seeking more than $1m (£739,000) in damages.

Since the lawsuit, several of those involved in Girls Do Porn have been convicted, including recruiter and actor Ruben Andre Garcia, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in November.

Acting US Attorney Randy Grossman said: "This defendant lured one victim after another with fake modelling ads, false promises and deceptive front companies, ultimately devolving to threats to coerce these women into making sex videos."

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