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GirlsDoPorn videographer arraigned on more sex trafficking, child porn charges

Repeating tactics employed during a civil contract fraud trial for which he testified, GirlsDoPorn’s videographer sought Friday to unseal contact information for victims of a suspected human trafficking scheme.

SAN DIEGO (CN) — Arguing he needs private contact information for victims ensnared in a human trafficking scheme to help defend himself in trial, GirlsDoPorn videographer Matthew Wolfe asked a federal judge Friday to lift a protective order.

But the list of women Wolfe sought contact and other personally identifying information for only grew longer.

That’s because an unredacted superseding indictment from a grand jury dated April 2021 was unsealed Friday morning adding conspiracy to commit sex trafficking charges involving 10 additional victims duped into filming porn flicks for the San Diego-based company Wolfe worked for.

U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino, a George W. Bush appointee, arraigned Wolfe on the new charges Friday. He pleaded not guilty, appearing from detention via video conference.

Attorney Lupe Rodriguez noted in court Wolfe originally faced sex trafficking charges related to two victims, with GirlsDoPorn owner and founder Michael Pratt — a fugitive wanted by the FBI — facing the lion’s share of charges.

Wolfe now faces charges related to 15 victims, Rodriguez said. He complained about what he called an “unfair delay” by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in adding the additional charges months before his trial slated for this summer.

The charges also contradicted conversations between Wolfe’s counsel and prosecutors this past December, Rodriguez said, as he anticipated additional charges involving only seven women.

“I didn’t know it was going to be this kind of indictment,” Rodriguez said of the charges Wolfe now faces, which involve suspected sex trafficking and production of child pornography involving a 16-year-old.

The child porn charges were “something we never anticipated with respect to Mr. Wolfe — it’s not something we focused on during discovery and based off discussions with the government,” Rodriguez added.

Prosecutors say starting in 2012 and continuing through October 2019 — after Wolfe had testified in a civil contract fraud trial in San Diego Superior Court brought by over two dozen women who’d filmed with the company — Wolfe, Pratt and others at the company fraudulently recruited women to appear in their porn videos.

College-age women initially responded to ads on Craigslist for clothed modeling gigs only to be induced to appear in their “first and only” porn films which GirlsDoPorn employees promised would not be published online and were for private collectors or DVD sales overseas.

"Reference women” received commissions for each skeptical woman they convinced to film with the company, telling them they had a positive experience during filming.

Following a months-long civil trial in 2019, San Diego Superior Court Judge Kevin Enright awarded the women $13 million in damages and the rights to their videos.

Last year, Sammartino also awarded the plaintiffs the rights to their videos related to the sex trafficking case following the 20-year sentence of porn actor Andre Garcia.

Currently, Wolfe is the only GirlsDoPorn employee facing trial. To prepare for the defense of his case he asked Sammartino on Friday to unseal alleged victims’ contact information and personally identifying information.

But Sammartino expressed concern about harassment of some of the same victims in the civil case — harassment “in which defendant Wolfe appears to have played some part,” Sammartino noted.

In his order in the civil trial, Enright found GirlsDoPorn had acquired the website PornWikiLeaks, a website used to “out” or “dox” women who had filmed with the company to their families, friends, schools and employers.

Rodriguez told Sammartino the harassment and intimidation involved Pratt and called prosecutors’ claims Wolfe was involved “speculative.”

“There is no indication in discovery Mr. Wolfe was involved in the harassment or had knowledge of it until it was brought up during the civil case,” Rodriguez said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Foster told Sammartino “there is a surprisingly robust interest in trying to figure out who these women are, identify them and out them.”

"There are Reddit feeds and entire websites dedicated to this," Foster said, adding: “It seems in this case this information comes to light and it is frightening for them, and frankly, for us."

She also cited evidence of concerted efforts involving Wolfe to harass and intimidate victims and their attorneys found during a search of the GirlsDoPorn office in downtown San Diego after criminal charges had been filed in 2019.

The evidence included two video scripts, including one titled “22 Whores + 5 Shady Lawyers vs GirlsDoPorn” containing the advice to “share and spread this video as far and wide as possible.”

The script listed the names of plaintiffs in the civil suit with other information intended to harass and intimidate them, according to a court filing submitted by Foster.

A second video script targeted a particular plaintiff in the civil suit and included specific instructions that Wolfe should be consulted during its production.

“Some of these things u might not know wtf ask wolfy he should,” the instructions read, according to Foster.

Other evidence included a phone list with the victim’s names and corresponding “Jane Doe” numbers with a script advising those GirlsDoPorn employees contacting them to pose as a journalist attempting to glean information about the case.

Sammartino declined to provide the requested contact information to Wolfe or Rodriguez, instead opting to have the U.S. Attorney’s Office reach out to victims to see if they are willing to be interviewed by investigators working on Wolfe’s defense case.

Wolfe’s trial date for June 20 has been postponed. A motion hearing in the case is scheduled for May 6.

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