20-year-old Joshua Manuel Treat, of Virginia Beach, is accused of allegedly prostituting his 14-year-old girlfriend on Backpage. Treat is said to have started ‘dating’ the girl when she was 13. The girl was also a runaway from North Carolina.
After an investigation by Virginia Beach police, the FBI and the NCMEC, Treat was arrested after investigators posed as someone who wanted to pay Treat and his girlfriend to have sex while they watched. After his arrest the victim claimed that she was uncomfortable having sex in front of strangers, to which Treat supposedly said they could rob the john instead. Treat was said to be in possession of a gun, a crack pipe, and a syringe at the time of his arrest. The victim claimed that Treat would inject her with heroin before she would have sex with johns.
Once again, here we not only have a case where Backpage is obviously not catching ads for child prostitution but they’re still making money from it. It also seems that Backpage has no problem taking money from a child predator who injects his ‘girlfriend’ with heroin. But it’s a free speech issue, right?
UPDATE 12/13/2016: Treat has been ordered held without bail. His own mother even refused to act as a custodian for him.
UPDATE 1/5/2017: Treat has pleaded not guilty and his trial is scheduled to start in March.
UPDATE 2/27/017: Treat has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking, and is looking at a possible life sentence when is sentenced in May.