- The Washington Times - Friday, June 18, 2021

Pornhub and its parent company are facing a lawsuit filed in federal court this week alleging the company profited off of child pornography and rape videos.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Thursday by 34 women, alleged the online porn company violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which allows victims to sue their abusers.

One of the women reportedly has ties to the late Jeffrey Epstein, the infamous convicted sex offender.

“This is a case about rape, not pornography,” the 179-page lawsuit read. “It is a case about the rape and sexual exploitation of children. It is a case about the rape and sexual exploitation of men and women. And it is a case about each of these defendants knowingly and intentionally electing to capitalize and profit from the horrendous exploitation and abuse of tens of thousands of other human beings so they could make more than the enormous sums of money.”

MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Pornhub touts itself as “one of the most prolific adult websites, averaging over 100 billion video views a year.”

A statement from Pornhub said the company is reviewing and investigating the lawsuit filed this week.

“The allegations in today’s complaint that Pornhub is a criminal enterprise that traffics women and is run like ‘The Sopranos’ are utterly absurd, completely reckless and categorically false,” the company’s statement read.

“We stand resolutely with all victims of internet-related abuse. Pornhub takes every complaint regarding the abuse of its platform seriously, including those of the plaintiffs in this case,” it added.

The lawsuit is led by Serena Fleites, who is the only named plaintiff. The other women are identified only as “Jane Does.”

Ms. Fleites was a victim of child sex trafficking, according to the court papers.

Although now no longer a minor, Ms. Fleites had an explicit video of her uploaded to Pornhub when she was in 8th grade, which was shared by a boyfriend at the time.

“The video titled ‘13-Year Old Brunette Shows Off For The Camera,’ immediately went viral on Pornhub. By the time Serena discovered the video, it had more than 400 views,” the lawsuit said.

She alerted the company to the video, but four weeks went by before it was taken off the site.

“During the months before the video was removed, it was downloaded countless times and re-uploaded by different users and with different titles,” according to the complaint, which notes one video was viewed more than 27 million times.

Another woman, identified as “Jane Doe No. 1” in the lawsuit, is alleged to have ties Epstein, who was a convicted sex offender with ties to elite, wealthy men like former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Videos of her are reportedly on Pornhub, which were pushed by sex traffickers.

The women are asking the court for monetary damages.

The case was assigned to Judge Consuelo B. Marshall, an appointee of President Carter.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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