Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico say that 22-year-old Kendel Morrel (or Kendel Merrell) lured a 17-year-old girl into prostitution over Facebook.
The girl posted on her Facebook that she needed a job. Morrel is said to have offered her a job selling hip-hop magazines and CDs. Instead, Morrel forced her to have sex with him and then turned her out for $150 a pop which she was ‘allowed’ to keep $50. He advertised her on backpage.com and tried to sell her for $3000 to other traffickers. Luckily the girl was able to escape and contact her family.
This reminds me of the modeling scam except this one is more realistic which makes it even more dangerous.
Facebook used to be where you only accepted your real-life friends as your Facebook friends. But now it’s turning more into MySpace where people will accept anybody as their friend. Parents, please monitor your kids’ Facebook to see who they’re accepting as friends or someone you love may be traded away for money.
It seems that Backpage’s ‘safeguards’ to keep children from being trafficked on their site is about as effective as the proverbial screen door in the submarine. And they have the gall to say that their ads are protected by the first amendment. Who is trying to protect these girls’ right to live free? Not Backpage obviously.