Women Call SoCal Pornographers Brutal Liars
SAN DIEGO (CN) — It's a lawsuit straight out of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Four young women say they were cajoled into appearing in pornography by men who promised that the videos would never be posted on online or distributed in the United States.
But the videos did go online, on girlsdoporn.com, where they were seen by the women's friends and family, the four Jane Does say in their lawsuit in Superior Court.
Worse still, the men leaked their true names and contact information, including email and social media addresses, to another Internet site, and strangers then harassed them as "whores" and "sluts," according to the June 2 complaint.
The women seek at least $500,000 apiece from girlsdoporn.com and the three men they say run it: owner Michael J. Pratt, principal actor Andre Garcia and videographer and sales agent Matthew Wolfe, all of San Diego County.
The women also sued nine related businesses, on 14 causes of action, including sexual battery, gender violence, false imprisonment and fraudulent concealment.
One of the women's attorneys, Brian Holm, declined to discuss the case. The other two, Robert Hamparyan and John J. O'Brien, did not return calls about it.
Holm also declined to share contact information for the three men, and telephone numbers for them could not be ascertained.
Aaron D. Sadock, an attorney listed as agent for service of process for some of the defendant businesses, did not return a call seeking comment. Phone numbers for two of the defendant businesses are out of service.
The 23-page lawsuit tells a depressing tale. The women say the defendants advertised on Craigslist and other online sites for young women who want to break into modeling. The men then conned them into making pornography with promises of thousands of dollars in cash, according to the complaint.
"The defendants assure them that they will not post the video online, they will not distribute the video in the United States, and they will keep each woman anonymous," the complaint states. "The defendants represent that the videos will be on DVDs overseas and for private use."
The men then brought them to San Diego, took them to high-end hotels and coerced them into signing documents, "often yelling at them that there is no time to read," the women say.
If the women resisted during filming or said they were in pain, they say, the men yelled at them and refused to let them leave. They say they were "confined in the hotel room and forced to film and have sex for many hours."
"Even worse," they say, "the young women are sometimes forced to have sex when not filming — to appease the 'actor,' most often Garcia."
Jane Doe No. 1 says she was promised more than $9,000 to appear in three videos.
Jane Doe No. 4 says she was promised $2,000 and paid just $400, because the defendants switched out the middle of a stack of $20 bills with $1 bills.
Things got "unimaginably worse for the young women" when the videos were posted online and seen by their friends or family. Jane Doe No. 1 says her videos were "discovered by her high school, college and graduate school acquaintances — as well [as] her family." Then came the harassment from people who had found their identities online.
When they tried to complain, they found that the defendants' phone numbers had been changed.
Some women ensnared by the defendants attempted suicide, the women say.
"Jane Doe No. 4 became depressed, could not leave the house, was blackmailed, and her car was vandalized."
In addition to $500,000 in compensatory damages for each women, they seek punitive damages for claims that include intentional and negligent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, misappropriation of name and likeness and breach of contract.
Here are the defendants: Girlsdoporn.com; Michael Pratt; Andre Garcia; Matthew Wolfe; BLL Media Inc.; BLL Media Holdings LLC, a Nevada limited liability company; DOMI Publications LLC, a Nevada limited liability company; EG Publications Inc.; M1M Media LLC; Bubblegum Films Inc.; Oh Well Media Limited; Merro Media Inc.; Merro Media Holdings LLC, a Nevada limited liability company.