Washington, DC (February 10, 2020) –The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is astonished to hear Members of Congress, most recently Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, question the value of FOSTA-SESTA, landmark legislation that makes online sex trafficking illegal and allows victims and their families to sue for damages.
“We wish Rep. Ocasio-Cortez would listen to Senate testimony given by Yvonne Ambrose, whose 16-year-old daughter, Desiree, had her throat slit on Christmas Eve by a sex buyer who bought the teen on Backpage.com,” said Patrick Trueman, president and CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
Ms. Ambrose testified before the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee in September, 2017. Her family’s tragic experience—combined with testimonials from hundreds of other sex trafficking victims—was a crucial reason the legislation passed both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly.
“No Member of Congress should accept talking points from the commercial sex industry, which lost money as a result of the bill, before learning from survivors,” said Trueman.
“FOSTA-SESTA gave victims the right to sue companies that knowingly harmed them. This is a bedrock American principle. Why do those attacking FOSTA-SESTA think Internet platforms should be immune from basic accountability?”