In Broward County, Florida there have been a series of robberies and assaults of women who advertise as ‘escorts’ on the Village Voice Media owned backppage.com. It at least one incident a victim was raped by two men.
Some of the suspects have been arrested…
Arrested in May and charged in the Broward robbery spree were: Eutil Couch, 29, of Sunrise; Brandon Lamichael Medina, 23, of Hollywood; Keonta Murray, 26, of Port St. Lucie; and Henry Ronald Mitchell, 24, and Jonathan H. Williams, 23, both of Fort Lauderdale.
What I really want to talk about is Village Voice Media’s response, or lack thereof…
An executive at Village Voice Media, Backpage.com’s owner, referred questions to legal counsel Steve Suskin. He could not be reached for comment, despite emails and a phone message left at his office.
Legal counsel? That sounds like VVM is circling the wagons. At least when craigslist refused to comment to the media the refusal came from Jimmy or Craig themselves.
The Sun Sentinel article also turned up a little quote that I was unaware of about backpage from VVM themselves…
Village Voice wrote in a Sept. 19 blog entry that it cooperates with authorities and has safeguards to ensure only adults use the site.
It argued that people can legally post directly onto websites like Backpage.com “without pre-screening or censorship,” according to the blog entry. “The responsibility, under the law, rests with the person supplying the post.”
For one, obviously the ‘safeguards’ don’t work because I’ve documented on this site numerous times of children being peddled. secondly saying that the responsibility lies with the person making the post is just VVM’s way of saying that they don’t care what happens through their site just as long as they keep making money.