SAN DIEGO (AP) — A producer for a now-defunct California porn website was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Monday for coercing or tricking women into appearing in sex videos.
Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, was sentenced for conspiracy and sex trafficking involving San Diego-based GirlsDoPorn.com.
Prosecutors said that Garcia was a recruiter, producer and actor in movies for the website from 2013 to 2017.
He falsely promised models who answered ads that they would remain anonymous and their videos wouldn’t be distributed on the internet but only on privately-sold DVDs overseas, prosecutors said.
In fact, Garcia knew the videos were being posted on fee-based websites and that excerpts were being posted on free sites, including popular sites that received millions of views, prosecutors said.
Some women also alleged that they were coerced or threatened into doing sex scenes.
Garcia and others sometimes coerced victims into finishing sex videos by threatening "to sue the victims, cancel flights home, and post the videos online," according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office. "Hotel room doors were at times blocked by camera and recording equipment, and the victims felt powerless and unable to leave."
"This defendant lured one victim after another with fake modeling ads, false promises and deceptive front companies, ultimately devolving to threats to coerce these women into making sex videos," authorities said.
"Even when victims told Garcia how the scheme had devastated their lives, he showed no regard for their well-being," acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. "The crime was utterly callous in nature and there is no excuse or justification for his conduct, which was driven purely by greed."
Garcia pleaded guilty to federal charges last December. He was among six people charged. Most have pleaded guilty to federal charges.
The site’s co-creator, Michael James Pratt, remains at large. A reward of up to $50,000 has been offered for information leading to his arrest.