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“I Didn’t Know If They’d Kill Me”: What Happened When This Jane Doe was Trafficked by GirlsDoPorn

By July 14, 2020No Comments
Fight the New Drug interviewed Jane Doe #18, and this is her account. FTND does not have access to all court documents from the GirlsDoPorn civil case that ruled in the Jane Does’ favor. We have fact-checked details in this account to the best of our ability.
TRIGGER WARNING
The following post contains explicit descriptions of abuse, rape, and sex acts. Reader discretion is heavily advised.
 
“I was really scared. I didn’t know if they were going to kill me. Watching the video now, I can see it in my eyes. The quivering of my lips and my voice, I know exactly how I was feeling in that moment. But to anyone else who sees it, they see what they want and they think I was complicit.” 
 
Meet Jane Doe #18.

You might have heard about the infamous GirlsDoPorn case, but you may not know the backstory, let alone the full account of one of the trafficked women.

GirlsDoPorn (GDP) was a pornographic website and production company that coerced young women into performing in adult videos. The company capitalized off of the “casting couch” trope and marketed the women featured as young amateurs doing porn for the first time. The concept was wildly popular with each episode garnering hundreds of thousands—even millions—of views and generating an estimated $17 million. The series went on for years, by some estimates from 2015 until 2019, and featured over 500 episodes with different women.

In 2019, twenty-two women sued GirlsDoPorn. The testimonies of the Jane Does revealed lies and tactics GDP owners and employees used to abuse, trick, and degrade these women. In October 2019, the FBI disclosed their own investigation into the company when they charged GDP owners, Michael Pratt and Matthew Wolfe, and male performer Andre Garcia, with sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion. Wolfe and Garcia were arrested, but Pratt had already fled the country, possibly back to his native country New Zealand, and remains a fugitive. The criminal investigation is still ongoing.

Sex trafficking doesn’t always look like the movies—young women kidnapped at gunpoint, ferried across national boarders, and forced into sexual servitude. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines sex trafficking as a commercial sex act “induced by force, fraud, or coercion.” This phrase has helped bring awareness to domestic trafficking, such as the GDP case.

The website was shut down in January 2020 after the civil case ruled in the Jane Does’ favor, awarding them $12.7 million in damages and the copyrights to their videos, but for the victims involved this was far from the end of the story.

In an exclusive interview, Jane Doe #18 gave an account of her experience before, during, and after she was sex trafficked by GirlsDoPorn. This is her story.

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A totally “trustworthy” modeling gig

It was 21 days after Jane turned 22-years-old when she boarded a flight to San Diego that changed her life forever.

She was living with her parents hundreds of miles away from California and taking time to heal from an abusive marriage she fled eight months prior. Jane taught yoga, wrote poetry, and did some fitness modeling.

It wasn’t uncommon for Jane to look for work opportunities on Craigslist, so when she saw a post for “professional fitness models” linking to a polished-looking website, it seemed like a great opportunity. Jane contacted the company and sent photos of her yoga practice.

Related: Multiple Hotel Chains Sued For Allegedly Allowing Sex Trafficking In Their Facilities

The response was positive. Jane began receiving phone calls from a man with an accent, who said his name was Mark and that he was from Australia. In actuality, this was Michael Pratt, the New Zealander founder of GirlsDoPorn. “Mark” proposed to fly Jane to San Diego and pay her $5,000 for a fitness modeling job. Jane was interested, but reasonably skeptical—she wanted to speak with others involved instead of trusting the word of one man on the phone. Mark gave her the contact details of other women who modeled for the company.

After multiple phone conversations with Mark, he sent Jane a surprising email offering an alternative option to perform in an adult film, promising better pay and her choice of male counterparts. On her next call, Jane made her position clear: she had no interest whatsoever in adult filming or nude modeling. Mark said the email was just for her to consider; he said no one would ever know because the video would only be distributed in DVD format in South America and Australia. Jane’s answer was a clear and resounding “absolutely not.”

Related: Ohio Man Pretending To Be A Porn Producer Sentenced To Prison For Sex Trafficking Teens

Later, Jane FaceTimed “Kat,” one of the women Mark introduced as a previous model. Kat gave a glowing review of the company and assured Jane it was a professional job, paid very well, and was totally trustworthy. Reassured, Jane set a date. She received flight tickets, fraudulent details of her hotel, and a trip itinerary for what she believed would be a fitness shoot.

But when Jane arrived, nothing went according to plan.

Red flags and warning signs

It was January 2016. Jane arrived in the afternoon and was picked up in a black Escalade by a man who called himself “Teddy,” the contracted photographer.

Teddy asked Jane if she was hungry and took her to get a sandwich. He was surprised when she ate it all and said, “Most girls don’t like to eat before. They want to look their skinniest.”

Jane thought the comment was strange. When they got back in the car together, she felt that something had changed. She felt unsafe and trapped—like she couldn’t leave.

Related: How This Woman’s Tinder Relationship Became A Sex Trafficking Nightmare

Instead of taking Jane to her hotel, Teddy drove to an apartment. Inside, he said they would wait for “Dre.” Jane would later discover the apartment belonged to Andre Garcia, GirlsDoPorn’s main model recruiter, male performer, and accused rapist. At the time, she was only told that they would wait for Andre to arrive, there was no explanation made as to who he was, why they were waiting for him, or why they weren’t following the itinerary.

Teddy sat on a stool by the door, which Jane recognized as a sign that she couldn’t run away. He told her the makeup artist would arrive soon, which surprised Jane. They weren’t supposed to be shooting until the following day. Teddy told her to take a shower and she protested. She locked the bathroom door and turned on the water but didn’t get in.

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There was a constant battle with Jane’s internal thoughts as she tried to tell herself the situation was fine despite her rising discomfort. Something wasn’t right.

The makeup artist arrived. Jane’s hair was straightened, fake eyelashes applied, and makeup caked on. Eventually, Andre entered the apartment, but Jane still didn’t know who he was. What she did notice was that Andre commanded the room and was more aggressive than Teddy. Andre told Jane they needed a photo of her to confirm her measurements. He instructed her where to stand and commanded she strip nude. Jane refused. Not only did she not agree to this beforehand, she didn’t know these men and definitely didn’t want them to have a naked photo of her.

Related: Meet The Researchers Developing Apps To Educate People About Sex Trafficking

But it was two large and intimidating men versus Jane. She didn’t want them to hurt her, and she didn’t believe she could safely escape, so after arguing with them, she did it.

GDP reportedly took nude pictures of every woman they lured and then graded their bodies on an alphabet scale of attractiveness. “A” being “totally hot,” indicating that everyone would want to watch a video with that girl.

Teddy, Andre, and Jane then got in the car. Andre said he needed to meet his drug dealer and so Teddy pulled over to an alleyway where Andre bought marijuana. Then they drove to a high-end hotel in downtown San Diego, but it was not the hotel where Jane had a reservation.

“I was still hoping this wasn’t what I thought it was,” Jane said.

Trapped

In the hotel room, the men took Jane’s cell phone and Andre unplugged the hotel telephone. He said they didn’t want to be disturbed—he had a justification for everything.

They sat Jane down at the desk and placed a contract in front of her. When she asked to read it, they told her there wasn’t time. She requested a copy to be emailed to her and they agreed, but she never received it. The men intimidated her by standing over her shoulder, flipping through the pages, telling Jane where to initial without letting her read the text.

Related: How To Identify Sex Trafficking Victims And Stop Contributing To Sexual Exploitation

Whenever Jane protested the men coerced her into compliance, saying they canceled her hotel and her return flight. They refused to fly her home unless she complied with everything they said.

“Your whole family is going to find out you wanted to do a porn video,” Andre said. “Do you really want that?”

There it was. The reality of the situation. She was forced, tricked, and coerced into these circumstances—and now she was being sex trafficked.

Andre then reached into his jacket pocket and took out a wad of cash. He said $3,000 was the agreed-upon payment and counted out the amount in 100-dollar bills. Jane began to protest. She had agreed to $5,000 for fitness modeling, not an adult film. She refused to take the money. Andre said her “body wasn’t as good as they had thought,” which seemed to be his justification for the lower price.

Related: Why Do Some People Fight Against Sex Trafficking But Unconditionally Support Porn?

Andre unzipped the front pocket of her suitcase and put the cash inside saying she couldn’t accuse them of not paying her. He then forced her to sign a receipt for $3,000 with an extra $1,000, explaining she would get the additional payment after her solo shoot the following day.

Jane was panicking. This was not what she agreed to and the last thing in the world she wanted to do, but two intimidating men were threatening her. She was trapped.

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Assault in the name of porn

Jane was told filming would take no longer than an hour. Andre said they would do a few sex positions, oral sex, and something they called the “grand finale,” though Jane didn’t know what that was. The men lied and told her that if at any point she was uncomfortable, in pain, or wanted to stop, then of course, they would stop.

Before filming began, Jane was forced to smoke marijuana and take four shots of vodka. At that point in her life, she didn’t drink and had never smoked before. Initially refusing, Andre asked her if she wanted it to hurt more. She took the shots and hoped for numbness.

Related: These Real Examples Of Sex Trafficking And Exploitation In Porn Blend In With What’s Mainstream

From there, the situation became even more aggressive. Jane estimates they began filming at 9pm and didn’t finish until 3 or 4am.

“Basically, I got raped for however many hours that was,” Jane said.

Early on in the assault, she began to bleed vaginally. Jane pleaded, “I’m bleeding. You’re hurting me. I need to stop now. I don’t care who you tell. Let me leave.”

The men responded that the more she fought, the longer it would last. “Just give us what we want, stop trying to fight it,” they kept saying. This, again, was coercion.

Teddy would stop filming if Jane wasn’t acting like she enjoyed it or making enough noise, and they would re-film the scene, extending the time and torture.

At one point, Jane reached for the hotel phone to call for help, forgetting that it was unplugged. The realization hit her, and a second wave of fear enveloped her. She tried to run out of the room naked, but they forced her back in.

“I would have rather been anywhere but that room,” she said. “They physically blocked the door and threw me back in.”

Occasionally, they took filming breaks, but Jane said Andre used that time to repeatedly sexually assault her. He told her it was to “warm her up” for the next scene.

“It was a constant assault, and it wasn’t the least bit gentle. It was brutal.”

For the “grand finale” Andre ejaculated on Jane’s face, and she described it as “incredibly degrading.” They finished by filming Jane in the shower and instructing her to blow the camera a kiss.

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The nightmare continues

Jane sobbed in the shower. After some time, when she believed Andre and Teddy had left, she emerged but they were still in the room and had ordered room service. They asked if she wanted some french fries.

Jane demanded them to leave, but they said they would stay until she fell asleep. She was told she would have to film a solo masturbating video the next day.

“Hell no,” Jane protested. “You can kill me if you want to, but you’re not getting anything else out of me.”

The bed was covered in her own blood so instead, she sat in a bedside chair and eventually dozed off.

Related: Watch The Moment This Taxi Driver Saved A Woman From Sex Trafficking (Video)

In the morning, they drove to the airport. Jane felt hope and relief that the nightmare was nearly over, but instead of dropping her off, they picked up another woman. Alone in the car, Jane told the petite blond woman that she needed to get out while she still could. The woman responded that she was hired to do a porn video and showed Jane photos of her nude modeling.

Again they drove to Andre’s apartment and were offered marijuana. By this point, Jane says she was a “wreck” and didn’t want to feel. She received a phone call from Mark on Teddy’s phone who reiterated that her flight had been canceled and she wouldn’t go home until she did the solo video.

“Absolutely not,” Jane responded. “This is not what I signed up for.” She brought up the $3,000 and Mark repeated that her body wasn’t as good as expected. Jane says he began yelling and insulting her, calling her an “immature little girl” and unprofessional for bringing up money. She hung up.

Related: By The Numbers: Is The Porn Industry Connected To Sex Trafficking?

Jane kept fighting and arguing until finally a different man arrived in the afternoon and drove her to the airport. As she was leaving, Andre and Teddy told her they would fly her back to San Diego in a couple of weeks for her solo video. Once she realized how good the money was, they said, she would want to come back.

When Jane arrived home, she was mortified by the whole experience. She didn’t want her family to ever find out.

“As long as no one knows,” she told herself, “It’s not going to get worse.”

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When rape goes viral

Two weeks later, a boy Jane went to high school with sent her a picture of his penis with a graphic sexual message. She was shocked and confused.

Then she discovered why.

A nearly hour-long video of that agonizing night was released on two major porn websites, including Pornhub. The title included her full legal name. When Jane found out, she ran to the bathroom and was violently sick.

Seeing her video online was the first time Jane heard the name “GirlsDoPorn.” She tried calling and emailing Mark and any other contact she had at the company, but all were out of service.

Related: Why Fighting Sex Trafficking Needs To Include Fighting Porn

By the end of the day, Jane received nearly 50 messages through her social media accounts. Many were from people she grew up with, boys from her high school. Jane’s family soon found out and assumed she had consented, that she had sought out the filming gig for attention. The disappointment and humiliation were unbearable.

Jane had dreams, ambitions, and plans for the future. But she said, “As soon as that video came out, I just thought, everything I ever hoped for isn’t going to happen.”

Jane Doe #18

Only after the men involved were charged with sex trafficking did Pornhub finally remove the GirlsDoPorn channel, years after the civil lawsuit began and the lives of many young women were devastated. Unfortunately, the videos are still easily searchable on the site and other porn platforms.

“I make the mistake sometimes of looking it all up when I get a particularly disgusting message,” Jane told us. “I got one about two days ago on Facebook, and I was like, oh great, where was it just reposted? And we won. We went to trial. That was supposed to help, right?”

Related: This Makeup Artist Was Offered A Dream Job, But Discovered It Was A Sex Trafficking Scheme

For the past four years since Jane was assaulted, the harassment has been devastating. While the Jane Does were promised anonymity in the civil case, their legal names, Jane Doe numbers, and corresponding GDP episodes have been published online. As a result, Jane has received death threats, “disgusting things” in the mail, and been stalked in person. Her home address was shared online, her parents have received letters, and other members of her family have had Facebook accounts hacked.

In that first year, Jane felt disgusted with herself and couldn’t look at her own naked body, even closing her eyes when getting in the shower. She has been admitted to the emergency room multiple times for alcohol intoxication, attempted overdoses, and other suicide attempts.

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“I get triggered if someone checks me out at the supermarket,” Jane said. “If I’m on the train and a man smiles at me, I start feeling like I need to throw up. I think, ‘They’ve seen it. They recognize me.’”

To porn consumers, Jane reiterated how you can never know the reasons why a person is participating in a porn video in the first place. She was lured, forced, and coerced, and yet GDP marketed her video as if she was a willing and enthusiastic participant. But consumer ignorance doesn’t stop every view from hurting survivors.

“I’m sure most of those viewers were not aware that by watching the videos,” Jane said, “they were participating in human trafficking, assault, and rape.”

When she truly felt like her life was over, Jane said participating in the civil case gave her a small spark of hope. She felt like she was doing something to stop the abuse. When the FBI arrested two of the men involved, Jane’s family finally acknowledged that she wasn’t complicit. She says that felt the most validating.

Related: What Happens To Sex Trafficking Survivors After They’re Rescued?

When we asked her how she’s doing now, Jane said, “It’s never going to be okay, but I can get stronger. I can help other people and make sure that I give them the compassion and empathy I didn’t have.”

She steadied herself, about to face the world with the truth of her story.

“I’m ready.”

Jane’s experience is just one example of sex trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines sex trafficking as a commercial sex act “induced by force, fraud, or coercion.” If you or someone you know has experienced or is currently experiencing sex trafficking, please contact your local authorities or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888, or text the word “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733.

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