Woman warns about pet adoption ads after paying $500 for nothing:
Florida woman loses $500 after wiring money out-of-state for a dog on craigslist that doesn’t exist.
1. Don’t ever wire money to people you don’t know.
2. Don’t buy pets on craigslist.
Not only do you have to worry about non-existent pets, but too many puppy mills advertise on craigslist.
Delavan man pleads guilty in child-trafficking case:
22-year-old Octavion L. Keith, of Delavan, Wisconisn, pleaded guilty to prostituting a minor on Backpage. However he claimed that he was babysitting the girl’s siblings so she could make money as a prostitute. Riiiiiiiight.
Just because Backpage is embroiled in a legal battle for survival with the U.S. Congress doesn’t mean it’s still not a major avenue for the online sexual slavery of women and children.
For example, 28-year-old Courtney D. Johnson was arrested in Memphis, Tennessee, for allegedly prostituting a 15-year-old runaway girl on Backpage. It wasn’t bad enough that Johnson was turning the girl out online, but when the girl said she didn’t want to work for Johnson anymore, he reportedly beat her and raped her. Johnson is also said to have instructed the girl to lie about her age. He also kept all the money the girl made.
Not to beat a dead horse, but so much for consenting adults that I’m constantly being told about. Anyone with a burner phone and a gift card can traffic someone on Backpage. Yet somehow, Backpage continues to argue that the peddling of human beings into sexual slavery is their right to free speech.
28-year-old Martin Eddie Herrera has been in a Texas prison since 2007 on multiple aggravated robbery charges. Apparently, this hasn’t stopped him from running a criminal enterprise that deals in the trading of people.
With all the Congressional hearings and possible legislation against Backpage, the child sex trade is still going on unabated on their website, even though they’ve lowered themselves to accepting gift cards as payments for ads. With any luck, the legislation will go through, the Backpage heads will be prosecuted and their seized assets will be put to better use, like providing resources for all of their sex trafficking victims.
33-year-old Christopher Wall, of Weatherford, Texas, is accused of shooting and killing Ashley Phorence, 23, and Krista McClellan, 21, in Willow Park, Texas. Wall allegedly found McClellan and another woman on Backpage and contacted them for a massage at his workplace. McClellan allegedly told Wall that the pair of women had recorded him soliciting them for sex and were extorting him for $8,000. Phorence, McClellan, and the other woman met Wall at a bank in Willow Park to get more money from him. Instead, Wall reportedly shot and killed the two women while the third waited, and eventually escaped, in the car.
If reports are to be believed, then no one is innocent in this story. However, extortion is not an excuse for murder. First off, try not to find yourself in situations to be blackmailed, like ordering women off of Backpage. That’s the wrong thing to do for a multitude of reasons I’ve discussed before. If someone does threaten extortion against you in a situation like this, go to police. Yes, you may be cited for soliciting prostitution and have to deal with the repercussions from that, but you won’t be spending a possible life sentence in jail for first-degree murder.
Previously, tech giants like Google had opposed the bill fearing it would open them to potential lawsuits even though the amendment to the CDA specifically targets sites that bad-actor websites. Now, The Internet Association, which represents such tech luminaries as Google, Facebook and Twitter, has reversed their opposition to the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act.
While it may not have been done out of the goodness of their hearts, but more to try to get Congress off their backs, this is still an important step towards the bill becoming law. Without as many allies, Backpage’s support is now crumbling. We are now several steps closer to seeing protections enabled to prevent girls and women from being trafficked on sites like Backpage and hopefully the successful prosecution of those who have profited way too long from their victims’ suffering.
Recently, the FBI announced the outcome of a nationwide sex trafficking sting operation called Operation Cross Country XI. They were able to rescue 84 juveniles and arrest 120 people involved in sex trafficking. Of course, one of the sites they used during this operation was Backpage.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the Operation happened in Denver, Colorado, where agents were able to rescue two sisters, ages 5-years-old and 3-months-old, from someone who was turning them out for money. A ‘friend’ of the girls’ family was offering them for sex (child rape) for $600. I really hope this was the first time this supposed friend was offering these girls out, but somehow I doubt it was.
While it can’t be said for certain those girls were turned out on Backpage, I would hazard that at least a large portion of the other 82 juveniles rescued were. Yet Backpage still continues to do business, still continues to make money off of these victims, and still claims that their role in the national sexual slavery trade of juveniles is their right to free speech. Yet very few in the general population of the country care because they don’t think it’s happening where they live, or to someone they know. That’s just one of the ways they’re wrong. It’s happening across all social classes, locations, and ethnicities, and unless we wake up to the problem and it will only get worse.
For the past two weeks, the news has been filled with stories about Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Details have been made public about his alleged serial behavior of sexual assault and harassment against actresses and other female members of the entertainment industry that according to some reports goes back as far as 1980. The number of women who have spoken out against Weinstein’s behavior has been staggering. This in turn has sparked the Me Too movement where women from all walks of life have come out on social media using the hashtag #MeToo to show they have been sexually assaulted or harassed, and again, the numbers are staggering.
Now I’m not saying that any woman’s sexual assault is more or less traumatic or impactful than any other, however, there are a number of women and girls out there in society who don’t have the freedom or liberty to say they were sexually assaulted too. I’m sure by now you know where I’m going with this. Thanks to websites like Backpage and people like its CEO Carl Ferrer, there are more women and girls than ever being trafficked for the purposes of forced prostitution and sexual slavery.
Many of these victims are forced into this life through either violent means or some form of deception, such as their traffickers posing as talent or modeling agents. Often these victims have no means of communication to the world outside of prostitution and are often raped by their pimps. Then they’re advertised to be raped again for money on sites like Backpage. Meanwhile, it’s the pimps and Backpage itself who make all the money. To make matters even worse, Backpage hides behind the concept of free speech to continue exploiting these victims.
Sadly, Backpage’s victims don’t receive the same kind of media attention as the Weinstein scandal. They have very few voices who are willing to shine a light on their plight and when they do many people ignore them because they either believe the myth of consenting adults or they find the subject to be too depressing to care about.
So while the women who are sharing their stories are brave indeed, let us not forget the victims who can’t speak on their own behalf due to the position of slavery they have been tragically trapped in.