A producer and performer for the now-defunct website GirlsDoPorn was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.

Ruben Andre Garcia admitted that he and the website's owners recruited women under false pretenses and coerced them into performing in pornographic films. The 31-year-old and his five co-defendants made false promises to women by telling them the videos would not be posted online and would only be distributed to private customers. Once the victims realized their scenes were being distributed online, their calls were blocked or ignored.

"This defendant lured one victim after another with fake modeling ads, false promises, and deceptive front companies, ultimately devolving to threats to coerce these women into making sex videos," said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman.  "Even when victims told Garcia how the scheme had devastated their lives, he showed no regard for their well-being. The crime was utterly callous in nature and there is no excuse or justification for his conduct, which was driven purely by greed. The harm inflicted by this defendant will last a lifetime for his victims. Hopefully, today's sentence will offer them a sense of justice." 

According to prosecutors, girls were informed that they would be appearing in porn scenes after responding to Garcia and his co-defendants' false ads. The victims were told the shoot would only be one day and they'd get paid between $3,000 and $5,000. Once they agreed, Garcia would book them a plane ticket within the next day or two so they wouldn’t have a chance to back out. 

Federal agents claim the women were given alcohol and marijuana upon arrival and had to film videos stating they weren't under the influence. Shoots lasted hours despite the victims being told it would only take 30 minutes. If they complained about the sex being too rough and stopped shooting, the women were threatened with legal action and dissemination of their scene. Hotel doors were also blocked by camera equipment.

"Ruben Garcia chose to exploit and deceive these young women for his personal satisfaction and financial gain and today he was held accountable for those decisions," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. "Today's sentence is the first in this case, however, it is definitely not the last. I hope this sentence serves as a start to the healing process and brings some sense of justice for these young women, each with their whole life ahead of them."

Most of Garcia's co-defendants have also pleaded guilty to federal charges. The website's co-creator, Michael James Pratt, remains at large. A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

Source: The Associated Press