The attorney representing a Tuscaloosa woman who claims she was raped and filmed five years ago as a minor spoke to 1819 News on Thursday about the lawsuit against PornHub parent company Aylo that alleges the pornography company profited from sex trafficking.

Aylo, formerly known as MindGeek and Manwin, operates several pornography websites, including one of the largest and most visited in the world, PornHub. According to case documents, PornHub averaged over 115 million visits a day in 2019. 

According to Semrush, PornHub is the fourth most visited website in the world, behind only Google, YouTube and Facebook. In fact, Pornhub has more visits than Amazon and TikTok combined. 

Aylo monetizes the content on PornHub and similar websites by offering subscriptions, selling advertising, data mining and entering into profit-sharing agreements with individuals who upload videos to the site.  

The plaintiffs, who wish to remain anonymous, are referred to in the lawsuit as Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2. One of them is a girl from Tuscaloosa who claims she was 16 in 2018 when she was raped and filmed and that the video was subsequently uploaded to PornHub. 

Case documents state that the plaintiff’s abuser has since been convicted of displaying obscene material of a minor. They also state that the video of the plaintiff’s abuse was available on PornHub for two years and labeled with the adjective “Lil.” This was despite several requests for the site to take it down. It only did when law enforcement intervened. 

The two Jane Does bring the case against Aylo on behalf of themselves and other alleged victims. They accuse the defendants in the case of both benefitting from participation in what they “knew or should have known” involved sex trafficking and receiving and distributing child pornography. 

“We’ve been working on ways to support and bring justice for our human trafficking survivors for a long time, for a number of years,” said attorney Kim Adams with Levin Papantonio Rafferty, who is one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the case.

Adams said her client’s bravery inspires her.

“Her bravery is really sort of why we’re doing this,” she explained. “She has led the way. She’s incredibly strong.” 

An Alabama court denied Aylo’s (at the time known as MindGeek) motion to dismiss the case in 2022. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Western Division granted the plaintiff's motion for class certification on Tuesday, effectively allowing the case to proceed.

“We hope it helps more vulnerable child victims come forward,” Adams said. ”… And that we prevent other children from being harmed … Website platforms need to be responsible if they’re running this kind of a website for certain and any kind of website like this, just to make the changes that we’ve asked for.” 

This is not the first time legal trouble has faced the pornography company over alleged sexual abuse, however. 

In 2020, plaintiffs in a California lawsuit alleged that it hosted non-consensual pornography produced by GirlsDoPorn. The company settled the lawsuit in October 2021.

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