Jane Does Ask for Millions in Porn Fraud Trial

SAN DIEGO (CN) – During closing arguments Monday in the civil fraud trial against GirlsDoPorn, the attorney for 22 Jane Does – who claim they were coerced into shooting pornography that was distributed on the website – contended they were vulnerable victims of “the ultimate bait-and-switch,” while the website’s attorney said it was paternalistic to question the decision-making of adult women. 

Superior Court Judge Kevin Enright will decide whether the young American women are entitled to millions of dollars in damages and the rights to the porn videos they shot when they were between 18-23 years old.

Although three-month civil trial is nearing its end, a criminal sex trafficking and child pornography case was filed against the defendants in the Southern District of California last month.

Attorney Ed Chapin, representing the Does, said Monday the women were victims of “male domination” and a “fraudulent scheme honed over time” where the defendants – GirlsDoPorn owner Michael Pratt, videographer Matthew Wolfe and actor Andre Garcia – “consciously covered their tracks by working hard to avoid a paper trail.”

Chapin suggested each woman should be awarded damages from a low-end of $450,000 to a high-end of $2 million based on damages they claim to have suffered from anxiety to suicide attempts.

The women accuse the three men of duping them to appear in porn flicks based on the false promise the videos would never be posted online and would be instead be sold on DVDs overseas.

When the women questioned the defendants about where the videos would end up, they claim the men would pick-up the phone to ensure them the videos would not be posted online instead of confirming the destination of the videos via text or email.  

“The question is: what is their motivation for that?” Chapin asked.

“They’re greedy and want money. They know if they told the truth the women would run,” he said, adding that the Does all testified during trial that if they knew the porn videos would get posted online they would not have agreed to participate.

Chapin also pointed out GirlsDoPorn’s employees and third-party witnesses confirmed the lies the Does claim they were told, contrary to the defendants’ suggestion it was not “common sense” to believe the videos would not be posted online.

“They seem to be arguing these victims are dumb, they’re unworthy and it was unreasonable for them to rely on their lies,” Chapin said.

When the website GirlsDoPorn used to recruit women – BeginModeling.com – was reported in the press during the trial, Chapin said they changed the website to CaliforniaModeling.com to conceal its identity.

“They make it impossible to find out who they are,” Chapin said.

Chapin said the contracts models signed were “intentionally verbose” to prevent them from fully reading the documents. As an example, Chapin read aloud the first sentence from the document, which has 140 words in it.

Some of the women were intoxicated or high when they read and signed the contracts, Chapin said, asking Enright to find the contracts unenforceable.

But GirlsDoPorn’s attorney Daniel Kaplan showed an edited compilation of videos in court of the women reading model release statements, in which they appeared to be sober.

He said the women filed the lawsuit after regretting their decision to appear in the porn videos and have failed to take responsibility for the repercussions.

“Plaintiffs are adult women who had the responsibility to make adult decisions. They must be bound by the contracts they signed,” Kaplan said.

He said it was “paternalistic” to say the “college-level” women were incapable of understanding the contracts they signed or the risk of appearing in a porn video.

Kaplan suggested Enright should review video footage that would dispute the notion that the atmosphere of the video shoots was one in which the women were under duress or intimidation.

He then listed each individual Jane Doe and the circumstances relating to each of their videos. Many of the women had viewed porn online prior to shooting with GirlsDoPorn, with some having experience in the adult industry as “cam” models and strippers, Kaplan said.

He suggested Jane Doe 1, who was a first-year law student in San Diego when she shot more than one video for GirlsDoPorn, orchestrated her own scheme to get women to sign-on to the lawsuit.

“They found the 22 who were willing to lie. They found the 22 who were willing to parrot the statement,” Kaplan said.

“The women assumed the risk. They don’t get a pass because they’re young. They don’t get a pass because they acted childishly,” Kaplan added.

Closing arguments are scheduled to continue Tuesday morning.

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