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Judge refuses to remove visa from PornHub child porn case

Judge refuses to remove visa from PornHub child porn case
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A federal judge ruled Friday that Visa helped PornHub “monetize child pornography” and sex trafficking — a decision that could have lasting implications for credit card companies, legal observers say.

The court rejected a visa motion from a lawsuit against porn parent company Mindzik, ruling that there was enough evidence to show the company “knowingly provided[ed] Tools used to complete the crime of distributing child pornography.

The decision was made in a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims PornHub pulled her heels after being warned after hosting an explicit video taken when she was 13 — at one point requiring photographic evidence that she was the same child in the video.

After several weeks, the clip titled “13-year-old brunette looks off-camera” was taken down but re-uploaded to other MindGeek sites in 2014, garnering millions of views and earning advertising money for the company Visa, the alleged victim. According to the lawsuit, the illegal clip was still on the company’s sites as of 2020.

The plaintiff fell into a deep depression, attempted suicide and became a heroin user after her unwanted notoriety, she claimed. Still a minor, he began starring in other porn videos produced by an older man to support his habit, the lawsuit said.

In his ruling, US District Court Judge Cormac Carney wrote that there was sufficient evidence to support Visa’s involvement in a criminal conspiracy with online pornographers.

“Here’s Visa, standing controlling the valve, insisting that it can’t be blamed for the water spill because someone else is running the hose,” Carney wrote.

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Visa’s claim that it was an innocent third party was rejected by a judge when the credit card company offered to withdraw from the lawsuit.
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“When MindGeek decided to monetize child porn, and Visa decided to allow its payment network to be used for that purpose, despite MindGeek’s knowledge of the monetization of child porn, it is entirely foreseeable that victims of child porn such as the plaintiffs would suffer damages. will encounter Plaintiff’s Complaint,” the ruling said.

California’s Central District Court also ordered MindGeek to conduct jurisdictional discovery and shed light on its shady operations, which the judge said “ensures a hopeless mole situation for victims.”

It also shot down Visa’s argument that it was an innocent third party, saying the credit card company briefly suspended its relationship with PornHub in 2020 amid allegations that it housed thousands of illegal videos before rejoining forces.

Michael Bowe, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, spoke exclusively to The Post about the ruling Saturday night.

“The court’s finding that our detailed complaint sufficiently alleges that Visa was involved in a criminal conspiracy to monetize child porn means that Visa and other credit card companies are finally going to face the civil and possibly criminal consequences of this unconscionable and illegal activity,” said Bowe, one of Brown Ruddick. partner

The news came after a month Two Pornhub executives have resigned Amid a proliferation of inquiries about alleged minor and non-consensual videos on the site.

MindGeek, which is based in Montreal and also owns Brazzers, RedTube and YouPorn, claims to have 115 million daily visitors and 3 billion daily ad impressions.

PornHub was the ninth most popular webpage in the US last month. According to Semrush, a search engine marketing company.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said It investigated nearly 5 million suspected child pornography videos in 2021.

Visa did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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