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GOP senator calls on DOJ to investigate Pornhub over videos allegedly showing the rape of sex trafficking victims

'Pornhub must not escape scrutiny'

Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is asking the Department of Justice to pursue an investigation into PornHub, one of the most heavily trafficked pornography websites in the world, over allegations that the site has streamed acts of rape and exploitation of sex trafficking victims.

In a letter sent to Attorney General William Barr Monday, Sasse urged the DOJ to launch an investigation into the website and its parent company, MindGeek, arguing that the website's incredible reach has a much darker side than the image of harmless fun that it tries to project."

"In several notable incidents over the past year, Pornhub made content available worldwide showing women and girls that were victims of trafficking being raped and exploited," Sasses wrote,

He then detailed some of the incidents, which included a 15-year-old girl who suffered "repeated rape and a forced abortion" at the hands of a sex trafficker in Florida. She had more than 60 videos of her sexual exploitation uploaded to Pornhub and other websites, Sasse noted.

"The problem of Pornhub streaming content featuring women and children victims of sex trafficking reached the point in November that Paypal cut off services for Pornhub, refusing to facilitate this abuse any longer," the senator added.

Sasse applauded the efforts that the DOJ has already taken to protect victims of sex trafficking, but insisted that Pornhub "not escape scrutiny."

Pornhub boasted 42 billion visits to its website last year, which Sasses notes equals 115 million visits per day, or the equivalent population of Canada, Australia, Poland, and the Netherlands combined.

A recent online petition calling for Pornhub to be shutdown over the allegations had garnered more than 420,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.

"This is a company that is generating millions in advertising and membership revenue, and yet they do not have an effective system in place to verify reliably the age or consent of those featured in the pornographic content it hosts," Laila Mickelwait, founder of the activist group Exodus Cry, which launched the petition, said.

"It's time to shut down super-predator site Pornhub and hold the executives behind it accountable," Mickelwait stated.

One last thing…
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