Fugitive Wanted For Exploitation Of Minors Extradited To US

A long-sought fugitive from justice is back on U.S. soil, and he faces decades in prison for allegedly exploiting young women and at least one minor. Michael Pratt vanished in the summer of 2019 as he was about to be indicted on human trafficking and federal conspiracy charges.

He operated a website that allegedly mistreated young females and trafficking adult and graphic content. It took five years, but he was extradited to the U.S. from his hideout in Spain.

Stacey Moy, FBI San Diego Special Agent in Charge, announced the wheels of justice never stopped turning. “Michael Pratt’s initial appearance in San Diego is tangible proof that the pursuit of justice never stops, regardless of length of time or location.”

Moy credited officials in both the U.S. and Spain who collaborated in seeking justice for the young women he allegedly victimized.

Pratt is accused by federal officials of running a scam operation for years that targeted vulnerable young women. These victims, many who were only teenagers, were lured into performing for adult videos that were then disseminated on his website.

The female targets were promised careers in modeling but soon found themselves involved in explicit productions.

Pratt was arrested in Spain in December 2022 and has been in the extradition process ever since. On Monday he finally arrived in San Diego to face the music.

The 36-year-old defendant faces 19 felony counts involving young women, including at least one minor victim. He and others stand accused of using the internet to recruit girls and women for what they purported to be clothing modeling jobs.

The suspects would then tell the victims that the videos would only be distributed privately to international customers and would not appear online.

But prosecutors say the defendants knew these assertions were false.

The female victims were housed in hotels and short-term rentals in the San Diego area. They allegedly were not permitted to leave until videos were completed and were threatened with legal action.

Some reportedly had their return flights back home canceled if they did not follow explicit instructions.