U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of the US District Court of the Central District of California has confirmed that there is reason to believe that Visa knowingly processed payments that allowed Pornhub to monetize “a substantial amount of child porn.”

In order to decide Visa’s involvement, the court is asking for more evidence of legal harms caused during a jurisdictional discovery process extended through December 30, 2022.

In his order, Carney described Visa’s payment processor as a tool enabling potentially criminal activity. The judge granted Visa’s request to dismiss claims that the company knowingly participated in child sex trafficking but rejected Visa’s request to reject claims that it colluded with MindGeek to profit financially from a child sex trafficking project.

Pornhub is owned by MindGeek.

The lawsuit follows a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff named Serena Fleites (a Pornhub child sex-trafficking victim since she was 13) and 34 other plaintiffs who accuse Visa of being a willing co-conspirator in the alleged child sex trafficking on MindGeek sites.

Carney explained that MindGeek is being sued for “knowingly monetizing child porn because Visa’s decision to continue to “recognize MindGeek as a merchant is directly linked to MindGeek’s criminal act.”

This implies, therefore, that Visa may be partially responsible for damages because it “keeps open the means through which MindGeek completed its criminal act knowing that criminal act was being committed.”

The sources for this piece include an article in ArsTechnica.