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Bookkeeper pleads guilty to conspiracy in San Diego-based website sex trafficking case

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Posted at 3:07 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 18:07:59-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A former bookkeeper for the defunct San Diego-based website, whose owners and operators have been charged in an alleged sex trafficking conspiracy, pleaded guilty Friday to a federal charge.

Valorie Moser, 38, worked for GirlsDoPorn from 2015 to 2018, during which she served a number of administrative functions, including providing travel arrangements and transportation for models arriving in San Diego to appear in videos.

Moser's plea to a conspiracy charge came with admissions that she was aware the women were being falsely assured by the website's operators that the videos would not be uploaded onto the internet, and that they would only be distributed to private customers.

When the videos ultimately did appear online, many of the victims contacted Moser to take the videos down, but she was told by her co-defendants to block any calls from the women, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Moser is slated to be sentenced on July 2. Porn actor and producer Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, and cameraman Theodore Wilfred Gyi, 42, have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Of the three defendants who still face charges, website owner Michael James Pratt remains at large, with a reward of up to $10,000 posted for information leading to his arrest.

Prosecutors allege the defendants defrauded scores of young women over the course of several years by falsely assuring them that their videos would not be posted onto the internet, while others were coerced or threatened into completing scenes.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Moser also unsuccessfully attempted to recruit potential models, and was instructed to lie to the women about the videos' distribution by telling them that the videos would only be released on DVDs in Australia. Though prosecutors say she never actually recruited any women, Pratt allegedly provided Moser with a program that would conceal her phone number for the purpose of making calls. She was also aware that she would be paid more for recruiting models Pratt found attractive, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said Moser "was a willing participant in a scheme that has traumatized many victims."

The website and its operators were sued by 22 women who alleged they were told their videos would only be distributed to private customers, rather than proliferated online. A judge awarded the women nearly $13 million at the conclusion of a civil trial held in San Diego.

Some of the women testified in the civil trial that they responded to advertisements posted under the guise of modeling gigs, which included no mention of nudity, pornography or the GirlsDoPorn business name.

Other women hired as "reference models" spoke to uneasy victims over the phone and falsely claimed they had been featured in prior videos without issue or online proliferation, according to prosecutors.

If the women ever changed their minds about filming or completing the scenes, the defendants threatened to sue them, cancel their flights home or post footage that had already been filmed online, though the intention was always to upload the videos onto the internet, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Other victims were physically prevented from leaving the San Diego hotel rooms or short-term rental units where the scenes were filmed, often with defendants barricading the doors with cameras or recording equipment, prosecutors said.