California’s San Diego A Man Is Sentenced to Twenty Years in Prison for His Role in the GirlsDoPorn Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Ruben Andre Garcia, an adult film performer and producer, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in federal court on Monday for conspiring with the owners of adult websites US DOJGirlsDoPorn (GDP) and GirlsDoToys (GDT) to recruit young women to appear in sex videos for adult websites through coercion, force, and fraud.
Garcia worked as a recruiter, producer, and actor for the GDP and GDT websites from approximately 2013 to 2017, which generated millions of dollars during this time period. Garcia pleaded guilty in December 2020, admitting that he recruited victims to appear in sex videos for the websites by promising them that the videos would never be posted online, that they would never be released in the United States, and that no one who knew the women would ever learn about the videos. Garcia was aware throughout the scheme that these representations were false. Garcia was aware that the videos were being posted on the fee-based websites GDP and GDT, and excerpts were being posted on free pornographic websites such as Pornhub.com, one of the most popular websites in the world with millions of views, in order to direct paying viewers to GDP and GDT.
Garcia admitted that he and co-defendant Michael Pratt were responsible for the majority of GDP and GDT recruits. Their target demographic was females aged 18 to 20. Garcia and Pratt used Craigslist advertisements, fake websites, and email addresses that matched the websites to convince their victims that they were applying for work as clothed models. Garcia and Pratt would not disclose to the victims that they were actually looking for women for pornographic video shoots until after they responded to the advertisements.
When victims expressed reservations, Garcia directed other young women to contact them and falsely reassure them that the videos would not be posted online and that no one would find out about it except the victims’ friends, families, colleagues, or classmates. Garcia, Pratt, and Matthew Wolfe chose young women as references because they believed the victims were more likely to believe other young women than Garcia or Pratt. The references were compensated for each victim recruited, with additional compensation for victims who agreed to be filmed.
Garcia and other members of the conspiracy took active steps to conceal the fact that they and other members of the conspiracy operated GDP and GDT from the victims. Garcia was well aware that the majority of the young women they were recruiting would never agree to appear in a video if they knew it would be uploaded to the internet and marketed to their friends and family.
The majority of the conspiracy’s videos were shot in hotels or short-term rental units throughout the San Diego area. If one of the victims agreed to appear in the pornographic video, Garcia and his co-conspirators immediately booked flights to San Diego within a day or two to minimize the victim’s ability to back out. Garcia would continue to falsely assure victims upon their arrival at the hotel or short-term rental unit that the videos would not be posted online and that no one who knew the victims would see – or even be aware of – the videos. Victims were informed that the contracts they were presented with merely reiterated what they had already been told, including that the videos would not be made public. The reader will find no reference to “girlsdoporn,” “girlsdotoys,” or pornography anywhere in the contract. Rather than that, the companies were given innocuous names such as Bubblegum Casting. The contracts that the victims signed were not made available to them.
Victims were offered alcohol or marijuana prior to some of the video shoots. Victims who drank alcohol or smoked marijuana were instructed to record a statement stating that they were not impaired by drugs or alcohol, despite the fact that they had just smoked marijuana or drank alcohol.
Garcia and others would occasionally coerce victims into completing the videos once they were underway as part of the conspiracy. Garcia and his co-conspirators threatened to sue the victims, cancel their flights home, and post the videos online unless the victims completed the sex videos. At times, camera and recording equipment blocked hotel room doors, leaving the victims feeling helpless and unable to leave.
Additionally, victims were misled about the duration of the video shoots. The majority were told that the video production would take around 30 minutes, but they typically lasted several hours. Sex for the video shoots was rough, causing pain and, in some cases, bleeding to a number of victims. Several victims requested that the filming be halted. Garcia and others responded by informing the victims that they needed to continue and complete the videos. Additionally, victims were frequently compensated significantly less than what was initially promised with Garcia and others would underpay the victim based on a tattoo, a mole, or some other perceived “imperfection.”
Following the publication of the videos online, numerous victims contacted Garcia and his co-conspirators to request that their videos be removed from the websites. The victims’ calls were either terminated or ignored.
“This defendant enticed victim after victim with phony modeling ads, false promises, and deceptive front companies, eventually resorting to threats to coerce these women into making sex videos,” Acting United States Attorney Randy Grossman said. “Even when victims expressed their distress over the scheme’s devastation of their lives, Garcia showed no concern for their well-being. The crime was heinous in nature, and there is no justification or excuse for his behavior, which was motivated solely by greed. This defendant’s harm will last a lifetime for his victims. Hopefully, today’s sentence will instill in them an appreciation for justice.” Grossman lauded the work of prosecutors Joseph Green, Alexandra Foster, and Sabrina Feve; FBI Special Agents; and the United States Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Unit on this case.
“Ruben Garcia chose to exploit and deceive these young women for his own personal gain and financial gain, and he was held accountable for his actions today,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner said. “Today’s sentence is the first in this case, but it is far from the final. I hope this sentence initiates the healing process and provides a measure of justice for these young women, each of whom has their entire lives ahead of them.”