The FBI announced earlier this month that Michael Pratt, the owner and operator of the defunct GirlsDoPorn website and a well-known wanted man by US authorities, had been apprehended in Madrid, Spain.
Since 2021, Pratt has been on the FBI’s list of most wanted fugitives and since last September he was one of the »Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.« He was apprehended in early December in Madrid by Spanish authorities and is currently being held in custody pending extradition to the U.S.
US-American law enforcement agencies issued an Interpol Red Notice in a 19-count indictment charging Pratt with »sex trafficking, production of child pornography, sex trafficking of a minor, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in connection with the operation of the GirlsDoPorn adult website.«
Stacey Moy, Special Agent in charge of the hunt for Pratt, said about the capture of the high profile criminal »The capture of Michael Pratt is an example of how the FBI will pursue justice beyond U.S. borders – you can run but you can’t hide. Thank you to our determined FBI San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and to our federal and international partners for their commitment to making sure that Michael Pratt is brought to justice.«
Pratt was listed as the 529th person on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, which was first created in 1950 and generally brings a lot of international publicity to a case, therefore making it nearly impossible for the fugitive to disappear successfully.
Before federal charges were unveiled against GirlsDoPorn and its staff in 2019, Pratt had fled the country and was nowhere to be found for years while his many victims were still suffering from his crimes.
When the FBI added Pratt to the 10 Most Wanted List, it added the following text summarizing his criminal enterprise: »From approximately 2012 to 2019, Michael James Pratt and others allegedly participated in a conspiracy to recruit young adult and minor women to engage in commercial sex acts by force, fraud and coercion. Pratt and a co-conspirator owned and operated a pornography production company and online pornography websites, ‘GirlsDoPorn’ and ‘GirlsDoToys.’ Pratt and his co-conspirators allegedly recruited young women from around the United States and Canada by posting false internet advertisements for clothed modeling jobs, which the victims later discovered were pornographic productions.«
The FBI explained that Pratt »also allegedly paid other young women working at his and his co-conspirators’ direction to act as references and provide false assurances to the women that, if they filmed a pornographic video, the video would not be posted online. Some women were allegedly not permitted to leave the shooting locations until the videos were completed, others were allegedly forced to perform sex acts they had declined to perform, and some women were allegedly sexually assaulted.«
It is expected that Pratt will now be extradited to the US and face his victims in a trial that will probably take months or years.