Image for article titled Judge Greenlights Suit Accusing Visa of Profiting off Kids on Pornhub

One of the most powerful companies in adult entertainment has been the subject of a lawsuit that claims it hosted and profited off of child porn. The suit accuses MindGeek, the parent company of PornHub, of knowingly monetizing videos involving children, as well as a variety of other nonconsensual sex videos.

Visa is accused of profiting off of the illegal videos. Visa tried to get the suit against it thrown out, but last week a federal judge dismissed the motion, allowing the case to move forward against the payment processor.

The suit threatened to end the financial and payment industries, according to Visa. The judge of the Central District Court of California made it clear that he wasn't buying what Visa was selling.

The author wrote (emphasis ours).

Visa’s agreement to financially benefit from child porn can be inferred from its decision to continue to recognize MindGeek as a merchant despite allegedly knowing that MindGeek monetized a substantial amount of child porn on its websites...

At this early stage of the proceedings, before Plaintiff has had any discovery from which to derive Visa’s state of mind, the Court can comfortably infer that Visa intended to help MindGeek monetize child porn from the very fact that Visa continued to provide MindGeek the means to do so and knew MindGeek was indeed doing so.

Put yet another way, Visa is not alleged to have simply created an incentive to commit a crime, it is alleged to have knowingly provided the tool used to complete a crime.

In June of last year, the lawsuit was filed by a woman named Serena Fleites in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Fleites' boyfriend uploaded a video of her to PornHub when she was 13 One version of the video was viewed over 2 million times. Fleites says her life spiraled out of control after the video was released.

The Fleites experience is not unique. 34 other women are being represented by the suit, who claim to have been affected by similar situations.

MindGeek is the owner of a number of popular porn websites. Reality Kings and other porn production companies are owned by it. The suit states that MindGeek is a criminal enterprise that profits off of illegal material. Major American credit companies and banks are accused ofprofiting from the videos.

If Visa responds, we'll update our story. The payment processor said in a statement that it was an improper defendant.