A New Zealand man on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list who ran the San Diego-based pornography website GirlsDoPorn.com was arrested in Spain this week after evading sex trafficking charges, including coercing women to have sex on camera.
Michael James Pratt was taken into custody by Spanish authorities Friday in Madrid. He had checked into a hotel in the center of the city Wednesday using one of his many false identities, El Espanol reported.
Spain’s National Police Corps released a video of Pratt’s arrest on social media. A tweet of the video didn’t name him but described the suspect as a New Zealand citizen wanted by the FBI.
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Michael James Pratt is charged with sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, as well as production of child pornography and sex trafficking of a minor by force.
Prat was added to the FBI’s top 10 list earlier this year and a $100,000 reward was being offered for information leading to his arrest.
“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,” Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy of the FBI San Diego Field Office said in a statement.
Pratt was charged with sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, as well as production of child pornography and sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud and coercion, the Justice Department said.
GirlsDoPorn co-owner Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 40, also from New Zealand, pleaded guilty in July to sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, as well as conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, which can result in a life sentence.
U.S. authorities allege the pair filmed young women from the U.S. and Canada committing sex acts between 2012 and 2019. They lured them to the shoots under the guise of posing for clothed modeling gigs.
The victims later discovered the jobs were pornography videos. They were falsely promised the videos would not be posted online and some were held against their will until the videos were completed, authorities said.
They were also forced to commit sex acts they were initially declined to do, the FBI said. Pratt allegedly made $17 million from the sex trafficking scheme.
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Wolfe admitted at the time that Pratt also operated a website called pornwikileaks.com with identifying information and social media accounts for some women being filmed. The website was dedicated to “exposing” the true identities of the women appearing in those sex videos, “causing the victims to be subjected to severe harassment,” the DOJ said in a September press release.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.