Operator of porn websites coerced women to appear in videos. Will now head to the pokey.

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Source: MEGA

Jun. 15 2021, Published 12:46 p.m. ET

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A recruiter and performer in amateur porn videos will spend decades behind bars for his role in coercing women to appear in the films.

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Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, according to federal prosecutors. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Several other people have been charged in connection to the scheme.

Fellow lead-recruiter Michael James Pratt remains a fugitive from justice.

Between 2013 and 2017, Garcia and Pratt were the lead recruiters for the websites “GirlsDoPorn” and “GirlsDoToys.” They targeted 18- to 20-year-old women and created craigslist ads to find their victims.

The women thought they were applying to be clothed models, according to prosecutors.

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When the women responded to the ads, Garcia and Pratt said they were trying to find women for pornographic video shoots. When the victim hesitated, other young women would contact the victims and say their family, friends and classmates would never find out.

Those women were paid a fee for the help in recruiting and would get more money if a girl agreed to film a video.

The members of the scheme also made sure the victims did not find out that the group operated the porn websites.

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If the victims agreed to make a video, Garcia and the others would promptly book a trip for the victim to the San Diego area before they could change their minds. The videos were often filmed in hotel rooms or short-term rentals.

When the victims arrived, Garcia continued to tell them the videos would not be posted online and no one they knew would see the films, prosecutors noted. Victims were given a contract, but there were no references to the websites and the victims were not given a copy of the contract.

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Some victims were offered marijuana or alcohol and were directed to make a statement to say they were not under the influence when they filmed, despite being given the drugs.

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Garcia and others coerced the victims to finish filming once the videos were underway by threatening to sue the victims, cancel flights home and posting the video online, according to prosecutors. Hotel room doors were sometimes blocked by cameras and recording equipment.

The victims felt powerless and unable to leave, prosecutors said.

Most victims were told the shoot would take 30 minutes but lasted several hours. The sex was rough and caused many victims pain, according to prosecutors. Some victims also asked for filming to stop.

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Garcia and the others paid the victims less than promised and would cite “imperfections,” such as a tattoo or mole, to decrease the pay.

Once the videos were posted online, may victims contacted Garcia and the others to get them taken off the website, prosecutors said. The calls were blocked or ignored.

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