Pornhub faces lawsuit alleging it knowingly participated in trafficking and child pornography

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MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — The company Pornhub is facing a lawsuit that they have knowingly participated in child pornography, rape and human trafficking.

The lawsuit filed by the international law firm Brown Rudnick LLP argues MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub, is in violation of federal racketeering charges through its exploitation of non-consensual content.

In the complaint, MindGeek is accused of being a “classic criminal enterprise run, according to those who know it best, ‘just like the Sopranos.'”

Pornhub is the most popular site for pornographic content in the world.

34 women are identified in the lawsuit by name or the title Jane Doe. Some women are stated to be victims of child sex trafficking, while others allege adult sex trafficking.

“It is earth destroying, life-shattering for these victims. It is one thing to experience a rape or be abused, and it is another thing for that trauma and the worst moment of your life to be uploaded to the world’s most popular porn site,” said Laila Mickelwait of the Justice Defense Fund.

Mickelwait has been fighting Pornhub for a decade.

The suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleges the company knowingly profited off illegal acts and attempted to prevent the removal of illegal content from their platforms.

“Put simply, a central element of the business plan that the MindGeek used to become the dominant online pornography company in the world was the maximum use of non-consensual content. That business plan worked. And the Mindgeek defendants got rich,” the complaint states.

Pornhub responded to the allegations by telling NewsNation they have zero tolerance for illegal content and also attacked the victims’ lawyer claiming he is waging a holy war against legal pornography.

Attorney Michael Bowe was called by Pornhub,” a soldier of the ultra right-wing effort to shut down the adult content industry.” They also called him a “legal pitbull aligned with fanatical groups who embrace extremist ideologies and Q-Anon conspiracy theories while masquerading as anti-trafficking organizations.”

Bowe responded to this claim by telling NewsNation, “That is their trope for everybody. Everybody who criticizes them is some far right-wing person who is trying to destroy the porn industry.”

The suit also names major U.S. credit card company Visa, as a defendant who also profited off the exploitation.

MindGeek operates pornographic website brands such as RedTube, YouPorn and its most famous, Pornhub. They also own porn production companies.

Last year Pornhub removed all content from nonverified users which made up 80% of their website. It also stopped users from being able to download videos and added a requirement for ID verification.

The changes came after backlash and credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard banning purchases on Pornhub

Mickelwait says underage users still slip through the cracks.

“No human moderator can tell the difference on a consistent basis between a 16-year-old nude body and an 18-year-old,” said Mickelwait.

Bowe emphasized that he believes porn is a legitimate business, and he has no issues with two consensual adults in pornography. His concern is the company profiting from nonconsensual sex and underage intercourse.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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