Trafficking victims ask judge to recuse himself over friendship with porn company's lawyers

December 9, 2023

Last month a group of sex trafficking victims filed a lawsuit alleging that they were exploited by Aylo, which is the parent company of a major pornographic website.

According to the Washington Examiner, their attorney asked the judge overseeing the case to recuse himself over his friendship with Aylo's lawyer.

Victim's lawyer points to judicial code of conduct

"Aylo, which operated PornHub, partnered with the GirlsDoPorn sex trafficking organization to promote, publish, and monetize videos of my clients which were obtained by force, fraud, and coercion," Brian Holm wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Eric R. Komitee.

"Aylo's partnership with GirlsDoPorn and mass distribution of these illegal videos absolutely devastated the lives of my clients," the lawyer pointed out.

To bolster his argument, Holm cited the judicial code of conduct, saying, "It does not matter if Your Honor's decisions in this case are impartial."

Judge calls porn company's attorney a "friend" who regularly dines with

"The appearance of impartiality is what matters, and the appearance of a conflict erodes the public's trust in our judicial system and will cause the victims to question whether the case is being handled on a level playing field," the attorney stressed.

"Considering the impact Your Honor presiding over this case has on Aylo's victims is particularly important because the victims have been fighting for years to recover from this vile crime, and having their day in Court with Aylo is a large part of that recovery," Holm declared.

"Years later, many of them are still suffering from suicidal ideations and are being committed out of concern for their welfare," the attorney pointed out.

The Examiner obtained a transcript showing that Komitee spoke of his relationship with Aylo lawyer Eric Corngold, saying he is a "friend and someone I have or try to have lunch or dinner with on at least a semi-regular basis."

Assistant U.S. Attorney not concerned by judge's friendship

Komitee went on to stress that this friendship "will continue for the duration of this case," adding, "And if that is something that you might view as problematic, the sooner you raise that question, the better."

Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Tara McGrath is prosecuting the case against Aylo, and she does not share Holm's concern.

McGrath was quoted saying that her office is "very comfortable saying that we don't see that as a conflict or certainly one that we couldn't waive."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.