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Cameraman pleads guilty to stalking women who sued GirlsDoPorn founder

Plaintiff's attorney Ed Chapin, rear, and fellow attorneys, Brian Holm, left front, and John O'Brien, right, in court
Plaintiff’s attorney Ed Chapin, rear, and fellow attorneys, Brian Holm, left front, and John O’Brien, right, listen to opening statements in the civil suit of 22 women against GirlsDoPorn operators. The attorneys and their Jane Doe clients were the subject of a retaliation video that was never publicly released.
(John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune)
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Executives of GirlsDoPorn, a website that coerced young women into filming adult videos that were widely released online, conspired with a cameraman to create a harassing video that publicly identified 22 women who were suing the company, according to a guilty plea entered in federal court this week.

The video, which was being edited during the civil case but was never released publicly, also targeted the women’s attorneys, according to the plea agreement of Alexander Brian Foster, the camera operator.

The 37-year-old San Diego resident pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit stalking on the same day prosecutors filed the charge. As part of his plea, in which he admitted to filming about 100 videos for the GirlsDoPorn site and related sites, he also admitted that he was hired to make the harassment video by GirlsDoPorn’s founder, Michael James Pratt, and the site’s operator, Matthew Isaac Wolfe.

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Pratt, a New Zealand native who fled from the U.S. in 2019, was arrested in December in Spain, just months after the FBI added him to its 10 Most Wanted fugitives list. He remains in Spanish custody awaiting extradition.

Wolfe, who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count last year, is scheduled to be sentenced in May. Three other co-defendants have also pleaded guilty in the case.

Michael Pratt was added to "10 Most Wanted Fugitive" list
GirlsDoPorn boss Michael James Pratt was on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted Fugitive” list before being arrested in Spain.
(Alex Riggins / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A federal grand jury indicted the key participants of the porn empire in 2019. At the time, the defendants were embroiled in a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court filed by 22 women who were victimized by the conspiracy. The judge in that case ultimately found in favor of the women and handed down a $12.7-million judgment against Pratt, Wolfe and adult performer Ruben Andre Garcia.

In mid-2019, around the same time the civil case went to trial, “Wolfe and Pratt hired [Foster] to create and edit a video titled ’22 Whores and 5 Shady Lawyers,’” according to Foster’s plea agreement. The video was intended to publicly identify the anonymous women who had sued them and was to be released online.

The script called for releasing each plaintiffs’ full name and city of residence before showing clips of their sexually explicit videos as well as portions of their depositions, according to the plea agreement. The script also called for showing photos of their attorneys “with disparaging information about the attorneys.”

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The video “was intended to be distributed on the internet through multiple venues and ... was intended to cause the plaintiffs substantial emotional distress,” Foster admitted in his plea agreement. He also admitted the intended release of the video “was part of a larger effort by Pratt and Wolfe to harass the plaintiffs over the internet.”

Foster’s attorney did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment. Foster, who posted $10,000 bail Tuesday, faces a maximum of five years in prison.

The news of Foster’s guilty plea and the revelation that the GirlsDoPorn leaders were creating a harassment video came as no surprise to Brian Holm or Ed Chapin, two of the five attorneys who represented the women in the civil case.

“Pratt and his cohorts knew our civil trial would expose them as criminals so they did everything possible to get us to drop the case before it got to trial, including harassing the attorneys and their families, and the plaintiffs,” Holm told the Union-Tribune in an email Wednesday.

Chapin said that among other harassment tactics, altered photographs of the attorneys “that didn’t hold us up in a very good light” were posted online during the civil case.

“I’m glad to see they’ll face justice, what they did was wrong,” Chapin said Wednesday. “They tried to smear us in many ways. It was disgusting what they did.”

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Holm said someone slashed the tires of his and his wife’s vehicles in their driveway, published “defamatory articles about my family and the other attorneys” and spammed his office with 600 calls per day. He also said a website and social media accounts were set up using a vulgar play on the name of his firm, Holm Law Group, in hopes the site would appear in Google results.

“When I learned they were planning to release a video like this I was not the least bit surprised,” Holm wrote in his email.

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