The man whom multiple young woman alleged coerced them into amateur porn shoots is on the lam from federal law enforcement, and all that running has only made cops want to dress him down even more, so to speak.
The FBI announced Wednesday they were adding Michael James Pratt, the main man behind the predatory amateur porn site GirlsDoPorn, to their Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Investigators have boosted the $50,000 reward to $100,000 for information that could lead to an arrest. Pratt was charged with sex trafficking in California federal court back in 2019.
The FBI said that between 2012 and 2019, Pratt—a native of New Zealand—and his fellows running his porn site recruited young and underage women “to engage in commercial sex acts by force, fraud, and coercion.” In particular, investigators said Pratt and co. targeted young women initially advertising modeling jobs, and only when victims responded to the ads did the porn site hosts say they were actually looking for people to star in porn shoots. The women were promised that their videos would only be seen by private collectors in other countries like New Zealand and Australia, and that their images would not appear online, according to the FBI.
The videos went live online on two websites, GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys. Pratt made millions through his site all while victimizing “hundreds of young women through the course of this conspiracy,” according to Special Agent Renee Green based in San Diego, California. “He used deceit and lies and vindictiveness to torture the young women he caught in his snare.”
Pratt, who previously resided in the U.S., reportedly fled during a civil trial before he could be brought in to testify and before feds unsealed an indictment against him, according to the Daily Beast.
Two other members of Pratt’s team have already been indicted, including the porn actor Ruben Andre Garcia of San Diego who was sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking in California district court. Multiple women in the civil suit alleged Garcia sexually assaulted them. Videographer Matthew Wolfe, another member of the GirlsDoPorn team, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking as well as fraud, and he’s scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Green also wrote that the FBI believes Pratt could be hiding with the aid of people across the world potentially with the promise of gifts or money.
Over 20 victims of Pratt and his crew already won the $12.75 million civil lawsuit against the site. Women cited in the court documents said they were forced to sign contracts that did not give the full scope of what the site intended to do with the videos. Even after the women’s videos were released on the site, the victims said they were doxxed, and their personal info was released to the internet. Women also testified that the men refused to stop the porn shoots, and that they were threatened with withholding their hotel reservations and plane tickets they were going to use to return home.
The website still lingers after all this time, and some of the videos have circulated to other porn sites as well, according to earlier reports. Late last year, a federal judge ruled that the hundreds of women coerced into doing videos on Pratt’s sites had the full rights to their videos, allowing them to seek fines up to $150,000 from those who publish their videos without consent.
Pratt joins an illustrious cast of characters on the FBI’s Top Wanted list like “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova and the alleged leader of the MS-13 gang for Honduras, Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias.