Pornhub parent company reaches deal with prosecutors in GirlsDoPorn sex trafficking case

A Pornhub logo is displayed at the company's booth at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 24, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Getty Images/Ethan Miller

An anti-sexual exploitation organization is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to continue investigating Pornhub's parent company after it reached a deal with prosecutors following a 30-month probe into its alleged ties to a now-shuttered pornography website's sex trafficking scheme. 

Aylo, formerly known as MindGeek, has been accused of knowingly hosting videos that depict sexual abuse and of engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction with the websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys. The website shut down following a Department of Justice investigation charging the adult website executives with sex trafficking crimes. 

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation argued in a Thursday statement to The Christian Post that the plea agreement "cannot be accepted at face value as representing reality." 

"The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center represents flesh and blood children who were sex trafficked on Pornhub and is currently prosecuting one massive class action lawsuit against Pornhub," NCOSE stated.

The group filed a lawsuit in July 2021 on behalf of multiple defendants who had images or videos of their sexual trauma or abuse distributed on Pornhub.

In a statement last week, Aylo shared that it had reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York. The company claimed that the investigation found that Aylo and its affiliates had not violated any federal laws related to sex trafficking or the sexual exploitation of minors. 

"Aylo deeply regrets that its platforms hosted any content produced by GDP/GDT [Girls Do Porn and Girls Do Toys]," the statement read. 

"While the production company provided the platforms with written documentation that purported to be consent forms signed by women who were featured in the GDP/GDT productions, and Aylo was unaware of GDP/GDT's criminal conduct, Aylo now understands that those forms were obtained by GDP/GDT through fraud and coercion," Aylo continued. 

Aylo agreed to pay the individuals defrauded by GDP/GDT and whose images appeared on its platforms, and it also disclosed that it's taking new steps to help eradicate illegal content from the internet. In addition, Aylo will allow a third-party monitor to assess its compliance program for three years. 

In October, over 60 women filed a lawsuit against Aylo, alleging that the company received multiple notices that GirlsDoPorn videos had been posted on its websites without the women's consent. 

According to the lawsuit, Aylo only ceased its partnership with GirlsDoPorn due to the Department of Justice launching a sex trafficking investigation, with several people associated with the site pleading to various charges. 

NCOSE Vice President of Strategy and Communications Haley McNamara expressed doubt in a Tuesday statement that Aylo would keep its promise to abide by moderation requirements. 

"The GirlsDoPorn case is one of many other cases of sexual abuse on Pornhub. In fact, there are three other lawsuits against Pornhub/Aylo involving child sexual abuse that was on Pornhub — the Department of Justice should investigate these cases as well," McNamara said. 

The anti-sexual exploitation advocate cited undercover footage released earlier this year by Sound Investigations that purportedly showed a longtime Aylo employee admitting that abusers can exploit a "loophole" to profit from sharing sex abuse materials on its platforms. 

In a video released last month, Mike Farley, a technical product manager, told an undercover investigator that users can bypass Pornhub's age and consent verification process by uploading content where the faces aren't visible. 

Farley claimed that sex abusers exploit this loophole to "make a lot of money," and he also implied that Pornhub managers are aware but do nothing because that would be "counterintuitive to the business." 

"We call on the DOJ to ensure strict enforcement of the promises Aylo is making and urge the DOJ to open additional investigations," McNamara said.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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