XXX in Tech

Two Alleged Underage Victims Sign Onto Revenge Porn Lawsuit Against Texxxan.com and GoDaddy

The refiled claim names Hunter Thomas Taylor as the proprietor of Texxxan.com.
Ms. Toups (Photo: Twitter)

Ms. Toups (Photo: Twitter)

John S. Morgan, the lawyer helping victims of revenge porn site Texxxan.com launch a class action suit against the site and its host GoDaddy.com, announced today that two more women have signed on to the claim. Unlike Hollie Toups, the 32-year-old Beaumont, Texas resident who came forward in order to encourage others to confront their struggles with revenge porn, these two victims are allegedly underage. New allegations of child pornography further muddle the already complex case–the most aggressive legal action taken against revenge porn thus far.

The release says that the women have filed an amended cause of action against Hunter Thomas Taylor, the 24-year-old proprietor of Texxxan.com, as well as his parents, whose Internet connection (and occasionally their credit card) was used to maintain the site. The claim also names Austin Ray Ponthieu, whom Mr. Morgan described as the site administrator.

Mr. Morgan said he has found at least two underage victims whose photos were uploaded to the site. The victims have signed onto the suit along with their parents. Mr. Morgan is working with the FBI to report the instances of underage pornography that he says he’s encountered while building the case. “I’m a civil lawyer,” he told Betabeat. “We enjoy the opportunity to work with law enforcement because this is such an important issue, but ultimately the FBI makes its own decision on how it handles criminal investigations. My indications are that the FBI is taking this very, very seriously and is going to do a very thorough and excellent job prosecuting people for underage photos.”

The case will be pursued under state law instead of federal law, as the victims and proprietors are all located in Texas. Mr. Morgan argues that uploading and hosting photos on the site without subjects’ permission is “invasion of privacy, unauthorized use of name or likeness and what we call negligence or gross negligence: that their actions were completely negligent because they didn’t think about the ramifications.”

Mr. Morgan also said he is going to continue to add defendants to the case. “I’m going to try to start listing the people who have uploaded the photos as defendants and start listing the subscribers once we attain that information,” he said.

According to Mr. Morgan, Mr. Taylor lives with his parents in Orange, Texas, and was the anonymous “James Smith” who called in to the Anderson Live two week ago in a segment about revenge porn. Little other information is known about Mr. Taylor.

Ms. Toups, however, said that she knows Mr. Ponthieu, whom Mr. Morgan said was the Texxxan.com web administrator. “Austin used to date a friend of mine so that’s how I met him,” Ms. Toups told Betabeat. “He’s been around me and that makes it a little bit more disturbing.” Ms. Toups said she lives about a 15 minute drive from where both Mr. Ponthieu and Mr. Taylor reside in Orange, Texas. “The only thing that separates us is a body of water and a bridge,” she added. “I talked to some of the other girls and you just assume it’s some creep that lives far away.”

Ms. Toups and the other women involved in the Texxxan.com suit have served as a lightning rod for the controversy, encouraging other women to discuss their struggles with revenge porn. Last week, two women in Colorado spoke out against Craig Brittain, the founder of the website Is Anybody Down.

“It’s kind of like the beginning of a healing process because for so long of course they’ve been hiding and kind of controlling our lives from the shadows,” Ms. Toups said. “To be able to know who it is, it’s kind of like forcing them to be held accountable for their actions. I know people have said before that we made the choice to take the photos and to deal with it. Well, they made this choice, so now they have to deal with the consequences.”

Below is the press release and the updated claim. We emailed an address for Texxxan.com and calls to a listing for a home number for Mr. Taylor were unanswered.

Texxxan.com Lawsuit – Press Release and Amended Complaint by Adam Steinbaugh

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com

Comments

  1. YAEHAulLipnpfAMKsf 9360

  2. Candy says:

    The creep that posted pics and videos of me has been stalking me over 5 years and has hacked my phone as well as my home pc. He is psycho.