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PornHub parent company under federal investigation amid sex trafficking allegations
Photo by Nikos Pekiaridis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

PornHub parent company under federal investigation amid sex trafficking allegations

The Canadian parent company of PornHub, Aylo, is now at the center of a U.S. federal investigation involving sex trafficking and an alleged rape. Last month, it was reported that 62 women had sued PornHub for "illegal publication" of sex trafficking videos.

The U.S. Department of Justice has now reportedly contacted Kristy Althaus, who recently filed a lawsuit against Aylo for apparently being the victim of a rape during the shooting of a GirlsDoPorn video. The video of the alleged incident surfaced on a number of websites that the company manages, according to The Logic.

The message sent by the Justice Department stated that prosecutors have their eye on Aylo "in connection with MindGeek’s knowing and intentional engagement in monetary transactions involving the proceeds of sex trafficking by the operators of GirlsDoPorn.com and GirlsDoToys.com."

The complaint suggests that GirlsDoPorn would upload video clips to PornHub and then proceed to share those clips with the wome "friends, family members, classmates, employers, and social media contacts" in an effort to spread the content more widely.

Althaus' lawyer, Lisa Marks, says her client has since changed her name, and now the suit has been filed under "Jane Doe f/k/a Kristy Althaus."

Complex reported that five members of the GirlsDoPorn team have apparently pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. This is not the first time PornHub has come under fire for illegal content, with its owner Michael Pratt appearing on the FBI's Most Wanted list in September 2022. He was later identified and arrested in Madrid in December.

At the time of the arrest, the FBI put out a statement, saying: “The capture of Michael Pratt is an example of how the FBI will pursue justice beyond U.S. borders—you can run but you can’t hide,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Stacey Moy of the FBI San Diego Field Office. “Thank you to our determined FBI San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and to our federal and international partners for their commitment to making sure that Michael Pratt is brought to justice.”

The statement went on to say "Pratt is charged in a 19-count indictment with sex trafficking, production of child pornography, sex trafficking of a minor, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in connection with the operation of the GirlsDoPorn adult website."

Though Althaus has legally changed her name, she claims she still continues to face harassment as a result of the videos published on the pornography website.

“As recently as May-June 2023, Plaintiff was assaulted at her home by a self-described PornHub subscriber who confronted her about the recent removal of the subject videos from Defendants’ websites,” the complaint said.

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