31-year-old Daniel Tanck and 29-year-old Robert Palermo, both of Rochester, NY, have been charged with prostituting a 14-year-old girl on Backpage.com. The victim states that the pair knew her true age and had taken photos of her to post on Backpage.
When the girl went missing the girl’s mother went through the girl’s Facebook page and saw a picture of her daughter on Tanck’s Facebook page. This leads me to believe that the girl may have been recruited by Tanck on Facebook. Social media is a breeding ground for pimps and traffickers looking to prey upon young girls. They promise them a life of money and partying before putting them out on the street or worse. So as I always say, parents, please keep track of your child’s internet activity. You are the only defense between your kids and monsters like this.
Sadly Tanck and Palermo are only looking at 10 years behind bars and even sadder Backpage continues to make a profit off of these girls that are being sold for sex and have no signs of stopping.
UPDATE 11/10/2013: Palermo is now looking at additional 30 years because he’s been charged with not only allegedly trying to have a witness killed but also for threatening the life of a federal agent. Of course the hit man who investigators said he tried to recruit was a law enforcement officer. Outside of the mob are there really any hit men that aren’t really cops posing as a hit men?
UPDATE 3/26/2014: Tanck recently pleaded guilty and is actually looking at a sentence of 10 to life. I guess the ten was a minimum. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in June.
UPDATE 2/6/2016: Tanck was sentenced to 12 1/2 years while Palermo only got 135 months.