A woman testified in court on Wednesday to an elaborate scheme hatched by three men who operate a San Diego-based pornography website to get her and 21 other women into appearing in a sex video.
The woman, known only as Jane Doe 15, is the first plaintiff to testify in the civil trial against popular adult website, Girls Do Porn, its owner Michael Pratt, videographer Matthew Wolfe, and actor and director Ruben Andre Garcia.
During her testimony, the woman described what her attorneys call an “elaborate scheme” to convince her and hundreds of other women to appear in sex videos which were later posted to some of the most popular websites in the world.
Jane Doe 15 said she was 18-years-old and attending college in 2016 when she found an ad on Craigslist for a modeling gig. She had been on the job hunt in order to help pay for tuition, room and board when she found the ad posted on her city’s Craigslist page. The ad directed her to a website owned by Pratt. She said she filled out the online form and attached pictures of herself.
“I had been applying to a lot of jobs and not having heard back, I was very intrigued to get $300 to do clothed modeling,” testified the woman. “I could have used the money.”
After completing the online form, Jane Doe 15 said she received an email from a man identifying himself as “Johnathon.”
Johnathon, who attorneys for the plaintiffs say is the alias for owner Pratt, gave her an offer she wasn’t expecting: Get paid $5,000 to have sex on camera.
The woman said she did not respond to the email. Court exhibits shown at the trial show the man then known as Johnathon followed up with another email. That was when Jane Doe 15 said the scheme began to unfold.
“He kept insisting I hear him out on the other offer,” she testified in court. “He said it would be thirty minutes of having sex, it would be $5000…he repeatedly said not online, not online, he said the videos would be on DVDs in Australia and other countries. I asked if I could do other modeling and he said no.”
She said she again did not respond. But, Pratt persisted, she said, continuing to tell her that the videos would be sold to private collectors in Australia or New Zealand and would not be released online.
“I wasn’t interested in doing porn. I knew how being in a porn could affect your future, your job opportunities, and how people believe you,” she said. “But he kept saying that no one would ever find out it wouldn’t go online.”
The woman said Pratt told her that he could provide a list of 200 women who would vouch for the company and ease any of her concerns about the distribution of the videos.
Again, she said Pratt insisted.
“He was very insistent that I hear the offer. Five positions, five to seven minutes each, it wouldn’t be in the U.S., it wouldn’t be online, it would be on DVD in other countries, and there were hundreds of girls who did not have any problems.”
She then spoke to two reference women, who assured her that everything Pratt had promised was true.
“It helped to know that girls do regular modeling and go to school, they were regular girls just like me.”
Jane Doe 15 said Pratt called her.
During the hour-long phone call, she said he insisted on booking her flight to San Diego.
“He said let’s book it just in case, we can always change it.”
Added Jane Doe 15, “I still wasn’t fully convinced yet.”
Soon after she got a text from two reference women, Amberlyn Carter and Kailyn Wright.
To see some of the text messages sent by the alleged “reference women,” scroll through below or click here.
“It was comforting to know I could talk to a woman who had done this before.”
Wright told her that she had done two shoots, and no one ever found out.
“It was encouraging to know that another cheerleader had done it,” said Jane Doe 15. “She had done two shoots and no one had discovered her.”
Again Jane Doe 15 said she asked, “These aren’t distributed in America right?”
Wright responded, “no prob and no they aren’t.”
Wright said there was no way anyone would find out.
“It got me a step closer and resolved all of my worries. I was assured it was safe by Wright and Johnathon and they had said no names, no internet, just DVDs in Australia.”
Jane Doe 15 agreed to come to San Diego the following week.
After arriving, she testified that she asked the videographer, the make-up artist, as well as the actor, Andre Garcia, that the videos would never be published online.
She said each had the same answer: No.
Minutes before the shoot, Jane Doe 15 said she had been given marijuana and then handed a stack of papers which she later learned was the contract. The videographer gave her the pages, “He just flips through them; this says these won’t go on the internet, only on DVD to Australia, and this one says no name would be used, and then he gave them to me and I couldn’t understand what he handed me so I just signed it.”
After the filming, she said she was paid $2,000 less because she had bruises and pale skin.
She left shortly after but not before taking screenshots of all of the text messages she exchanged with the man she knew as “Johnathon.”
“I feel humiliated.,” she said crying. “I’ve gotten random texts from strangers. It made me feel kind of unsafe that a stranger would find me like that. It made me feel unsafe and violated.”
Jane Doe 15 will take the stand again Thursday, August 22, for cross-examination. Also testifying will be the woman known as Jane Doe 12.
In a new podcast from NBC 7 Investigates called INSIGHT, journalists Dorian Hargrove and Tom Jones share some of the women’s stories who were featured in these videos and what they uncovered about the Girls Do Porn website, including the company’s ties to shell companies that were charged with laundering billions of dollars for a Mexican drug cartel and trafficking illegal weapons.
To listen to that podcast, click here or hit ‘Play’ below.