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Judge refuses to remove Visa from Pornhub child porn lawsuit

Judge refuses to remove Visa from Pornhub child porn lawsuit
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A federal judge ruled Friday that Visa helped Pornhub “monetize child porn” and traffic in sex — a decision that could have long-term implications for credit card companies, legal observers said.

The court denied Visa’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit against porn parent company MindGeek, ruling that there was enough evidence to show that the company “knowingly provided.”[ed] the means used to complete the crime” distribution of child pornography.

The ruling comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims Pornhub dragged her heels after warning her that it was hosting a pornographic video taken when she was 13 years old. video.

After a few weeks, the clip, titled “13-Year-Old Brunette Shows Off for the Camera,” was taken down, but was re-uploaded on other MindGeek sites in 2014, garnering millions of views and earning the company ad money with the help of Visa. . The alleged illegal clip was still on the company’s website in 2020.

After his unwanted humiliation, the plaintiff became deeply depressed, tried to kill himself and became a heroin user. Still a minor, she began starring in other porn videos produced by an older man to support her habit, the lawsuit said.

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney wrote in his ruling that there was sufficient evidence to establish that Visa had entered into a criminal conspiracy with online pornographers.

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

visa
Visa claims the credit card company was denied by a judge when it asked to be dismissed from the lawsuit.
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“When MindGeek decides to monetize child pornography and Visa continues to allow MindGeek to monetize child pornography, despite knowing MindGeek monetizes child pornography, continues to allow its payment network to be used for that purpose, it is entirely foreseeable that victims of child pornography such as Plaintiff will be harmed. Plaintiff alleges,” the decision reads. .

California’s Central District court also ordered MindGeek to take discovery into the jurisdiction and shed light on its shady operations, which the judge said creates a “hopeless situation for victims.”

He also downplayed 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 it posted thousands of illegal videos before rejoining forces.

Michael Bowe, the plaintiff’s lead attorney, spoke exclusively to The Post about the verdict Saturday night.

“The court’s finding that our detailed complaint adequately alleges that Visa engaged in a criminal conspiracy to monetize child pornography means that Visa and other credit card companies will finally face the civil and possibly criminal consequences of this unscrupulous and illegal activity,” he said. Bowe. Partner at Brown Rudick.

The news came a month later two Pornhub executives resigned amid increasing inquiries about juvenile and objectionable videos on the site.

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

Pornhub was the ninth most popular website in the US last month. according to Semrush, a search engine marketing company.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children he said In 2021, 5 million suspected child pornography videos were investigated.

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

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