In the wake of Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer no-showing a congressional hearing on sex trafficking and the Senate voting to hold Backpage and Ferrer in contempt, the US Senate is now filing a lawsuit against Backpage. This lawsuit, the first filed by the Senate in 20 years, is meant to compel Backpage to turn over internal records about how it monitors the ads for prostitution and what length it goes to in order to prevent minors from being trafficked on their site. Backpage has also been accused of editing ads so the people placing the ads will avoid police action. It will be nothing if not entertaining to see how the worms that run Backpage try to protect how they make millions of dollars off the victims of human trafficking and child prostitution.
Tag Archive: child prostitution
In light of Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer refusing a subpoena to appear before congress the U.S. Senate voted to hold Backpage in contempt last week. This means that the Senate could file a lawsuit against Backpage.
A Senate subcommittee investigation believes that Backpage is complicit in assisting pimps and traffickers with their ads for prostitution….
For example, the site edits ads before they’re posted, often removing evidence of law-breaking in its “adult” classifieds, the probe determined. Backpage removes certain words from ads that would trip alarm bells, and it permanently deletes metadata from posts’ images that could allow law enforcement to determine who posted an illegal ad, according to the Senate investigation.
If that allegation is true then Backpage’s usual defense under the archaic Federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 would be negated. Usually Backpage cites the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech to stay in business but if they are actively editing the ads in order to skirt the law then that speech is no longer protected.
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times is one of the few journalists in America who has been trying to raise awareness about the children who are continuously prostituted on Backpage. In his latest column entitled ‘Every Parent’s Nightmare’ he tells a horrific story about a woman from Seattle who dropped her 15-year-old daughter off at school one day then didn’t see her for over 100 days because her daughter has been recruited by a pimp and had been repeatedly advertised on Backpage.
What I really want to draw attention to though is the first two sentences of Mr’ Kristof’s column…
We as a society derided the Roman Catholic Church as an accessory to child sexual abuse, and we lambasted Penn State for similar offenses.
Yet we as a society are complicit or passive in a similar way, by allowing a popular website called Backpage.com to be used to arrange child rape.
Personally I think it’s because while Backpage is a multi-million dollar business it still flies under the media radar and the average person isn’t really aware that Backpage even exists. I’m afraid it will have to take some truly horrendous crime to happen to a child that’s been turned out on Backpage before most people become aware of its existence and the problem within.
25-year-old Dylan Young was arrested by police in Chandler, Arizona, for allegedly trying to solicit sex from a 14-year-old girl over the mobile messaging app Kik. The 14-year-old girl was actually a police investigator.
Police in Howard County, Maryland, are currently searching for 28-year-old Nathaniel Lee Thompson from Delaware. He’s accused of allegedly prostituting a 17-year-old girl on Backpage. Arrested in connection with Thompson’s crime was 19-year-old Janice Figueroa who has been charged with multiple counts of human trafficking.
Police were conducting a Backpage sting when they encountered the 17-year-old girl. When they moved in to arrest Figueroa and Thompson, Figueroa was lying down in the backseat of the car they used to drive the girl to the hotel while Thompson escaped through the backdoor of a restaurant. While this story is lacking in details the charges must be pretty serious as Figueroa is being held on $1 million bond.
Anyone with information on Thompson’s whereabouts, or any human trafficking in Howard County, should call 410-313-STOP or email [email protected]
Meanwhile Backpage would rather thumb their nose at the government then take any measures to stop the sex slave trade that takes place on their website,
20-year-old Robert Pritchett of Buffalo, New York is a real piece of work. Not only is he under investigation for child porn and rape charges in which he allegedly used mobile messaging app Kik for, but he’s also accused of prostituting a 17-year-old girl on Backpage and MeetMe.
Federal investigators believe he may have more victims…
While online, Pritchett went by a variety of names including James Heart, James Cooper, James Matthew, Tyler Games, James Allen, Jamez Tommy, Gabriel Michaels, Jess Allen, Thomas Allen, Matthew Allen, James Church, Faith Anderson and Max Heart.
If you have any information in connection to this case, you’re asked to contact the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force at 716.856.7800 or go to http://www.fbi.gov to submit a tip electronically.
Again I would recommend talking to your kids about scum like this and let them know that any adult they don’t know that starts talking to them online is more than likely out to harm them.
I’m usually not one for ‘listicles’ because they’re usually only worthless clickbait. However RollingOut.com’s ‘9 things you didn’t know about sex trafficking’ is a listicle that’s not only informative but one that more people should actually see.
By all means please click on the link to read the article but there’s something from the article itself I wanted to discuss. Of course it touches on craigslist and backpage but I specifically wanted to talk about the following…
Girls get into the sex trade in different ways
Friends or family influence
Boredom (they see this as something exciting and new)
To afford a drug habit
“Boyfriend” tricks them into believing they will do it for the boyfriend if they love them
These are all true but I wanted to talk about another reason how underage girls are tricked into child prostitution. In the past I’ve called it the modeling scam where a pimp, or other predator, approaches a girl online and preys upon a girl’s vanity by telling them they can get them into modeling. A variation on that trick is where a pimp will promise their victim a life of money and glamour by working for them without telling them what they’d really be doing.
Other than that small addition the list is spot on and should be forwarded around on Facebook rather than ‘100 ways bananas are better than bicycles’ or some such crap.
In case you’re wonder why I defaced the picture of Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer I used to do the same thing back in the day with Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster before they closed down their erotic services section. I thought it would be only fair to do the same thing to Ferrer.
Anyway we’re not here to talk about my childish attention seeking ways. We’re here to talk about Mr. Ferrer himself. It seems he was subpoenaed to appear before a Congressional committee that is investigating sex trafficking on the internet. He declined to appear. The committee is possibly seeking contempt charges against Ferrer.
So where is he you may ask? His lawyers state that he is on international travel. I wonder if that happens to be to a country that has no extradition treaty with the U.S. Backpage’s parent company, which may either be SPECTRE or HYDRA, are located in The Netherlands which does have an extradition treaty with the U.S.
Backpage’s legal mouthpiece Liz, McDougall, who has also gotten the Jim Buckmaster treatment in the past, compares the committee’s investigation to that of McCarthyism. Except, you know, for the fact that the people accused by McCarthy weren’t making tons of money over children and women being sold for sex.
Lastly for those of you who say Backpage is actually helping to combat the trafficking of children, and there are people who say that, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children seems to disagree…
“It seemed they were more interested in trying to publicly claim a partnership with (the center) on the issue rather than reducing the sale of children on their website,” said Yiota Souras, the senior vice president and general counsel for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who said the company refused to implement many of the center’s suggestions for stopping child sex trafficking.
She said in some cases, the company refused to take down ads even when family members pleaded for them to do so. She quoted an email to the company where a mother asked that her 16-year-old daughter’s ad be taken down. “For God’s sake, she’s only 16,” the mother pleaded.
Souras said there were more restrictions on ads to sell pets or motorcycles than there were to sell sexual acts.
Getting back to the matter at hand does anyone have any guesses where he went and will he come back to the US willingly or in hand cuffs? I hope it’s the hand cuffs so he can experience just a modicum of the humiliation that the girls and women trafficked on his website feel.
This is a story that seems to be making the outrage rounds as it should. 28-year-old Andrew Turley was arrested by Houston police for allegedly drugging a 4-year-old girl and prostituting her on craigslist. Turley is nothing short of a monster according to reports.
Undercover officers with the Houston Police Department noticed an ad on Craigslist offering “daddy’s little girl” in exchange for money.
They made contact with the person promoting the ad and exchanged more than 60 emails up until Nov. 12.
Prosecutors say Turley allegedly offered two hours with the girl in exchange for $1,000, and a meeting was arranged.
When undercover officers arrived to the meeting location, they found the girl naked underneath a blanket. She was in a groggy state and appeared to be under the influence, according to police.
The ever tactful NY Daily News had this to add…
Turley had told the undercover cop “it may not fit in” but said the officer could “do whatever he wanted” to her, McShan said.
So by every right any person who reads this story should be outraged over what this thing was allegedly doing with a 4-year-old girl.
The thing is don’t act like this is something new. This has been going on through craigslist since as long as I’ve been keeping track. All you need to do is scroll through the craigslist archives of this site to see just a sampling of all the child predators who have been caught using craigslist. Hell, this victim isn’t even the youngest girl to be turned out on craigslist.
Pedophiles, pornographers and predators are abundant on craigslist. They have been for quite some time now. If you’re going to be outraged about what this scumbag did to a little girl you should also be outraged that craigslist does nothing to block these ads.
And to all the media types who are just finding this out for the first time where the hell have you been?
Just because Backpage has been dealt a serious financial blow doesn’t mean they’re down for the count just yet. They’re still collecting money for the children being sold into sexual slavery on their site.
In Cleveland, 22-year-old Ronnie Pratt Jr. was arrested for allegedly turning out a 14-year-old girl on Backpage for the purposes of prostitution. When interviewed by the FBI the victim said that she had been working for Pratt since she was 13. Pratt allegedly advertised her on Backpage as “lovely college girl” who has a “thing for older men.” Federal investigators saw the ad and though the girl looked a little young. Apparently they were right.
While Backpage may not be allowed to accept credit card payments anymore they are still accepting cash, check, money order and bitcoin so we can’t relax just yet. We can’t rest until Backpage is no longer making any kind of money off the women and children who being trafficked on their site.