GirlsDoPorn actor sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking and conspiracy
An adult-film actor tied to a San Diego company that authorities said duped and coerced women into making pornography was sentenced in federal court Monday to 20 years in prison.
In December, Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, coercion and fraud, and admitted his role as a recruiter and performer with GirlsDoPorn.com and GirlsDoToys.com from 2013 to 2017. Authorities said the company lured in young women who had never appeared in adult films.
U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino said Garcia was “without question” one of the leaders behind a scheme she described as “malicious” and “callous.” The victims, she said, were treated as “disposable commodities.”
The sentence is several years longer than the 12 years and seven months in prison that prosecutors suggested. Garcia’s attorneys had sought a seven-year prison term.
Defense lawyer Jan Ronis said his client apologized in court, saying he “doesn’t know how he lost his moral compass.” The attorney also said the case was the “long shadow of the #MeToo movement.”
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“This is a reawakening in America that, in the past, these cases were not taken too seriously,” Ronis said after the sentencing. “The judge’s sentence — which I don’t agree with — reflects that that day is gone.”
As part of his plea, Garcia admitted to threatening and deceiving the women, and paying other women to lie to reluctant recruits, falsely asserting that the footage would not be seen in the U.S. but was intended for private DVD collections overseas.
But the plan was to post the videos online, prosecutors said. And once the images hit the internet, many of the women were threatened, harassed and faced other serious repercussions.
In a sentencing filing, prosecutors argued that, even after Garcia knew the victims’ lives had been upended by the “malicious scheme,” Garcia “simply moved on to the next victim without any regard for the wellbeing of anyone but himself.”
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Several people linked to GirlsDoPorn were named in a federal indictment handed up in 2019, including the company’s co-owners, Matthew Isaac Wolfe and Michael James Pratt.
Wolfe is awaiting trial. Pratt, a New Zealand native, is a fugitive.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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