Time to Clean House at U.S. Department of Justice:
Confirmation Hearing of William Barr for U.S. Attorney General Presents New Opportunity in the Fight to End Sexual Exploitation
Statement by Patrick A. Trueman, President & Chief Executive Officer, NCOSE
Washington, DC – In a letter sent yesterday to members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) called on senators to ensure rigorous enforcement of the nation’s laws combating sexual exploitation, and to adopt proactive measures in combatting sexual exploiters. With the upcoming confirmation hearings of Mr. William Barr for the position of Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Judiciary Committee members have a momentous opportunity to reproach the agency for dereliction of its responsibility to uphold such laws, and to charge Mr. Barr to clean house.
The letter urges that senators question Mr. Barr concerning his commitment to: 1) federal prosecution of Internet-based platforms (such as Skip the Games, Switter, Bedpage, and others) which promote prostitution and facilitate sex trafficking; 2) enforcement of federal obscenity laws, 18 U.S.C. §1460 to 18 U.S.C. §1470, and 3) implementation of policy and law enforcement efforts aimed at combating demand for commercial sex.
“DOJ’s long delay in prosecuting Internet-based platforms which promote prostitution and facilitate sex trafficking, as well as its decade-long, willful failure to prosecute federal obscenity laws allowed a lawless Internet-environment to thrive and a torrent of hardcore material to permeate virtually every corner of public life,” said Patrick A. Trueman, President and Chief Executive Officer for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and Former Chief of DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. “The negative consequences of this inaction to the health and safety of the nation are titanic,” he continued.
Trueman added, “DOJ’s years-long delay in prosecuting Internet platforms with business models dedicated to the promotion of prostitution and facilitation of sex trafficking gave rise to a global Internet-based sexual exploitation market unleashing incalculable and enduring harm.”
“Further, due to DOJ’s laissez-faire posture towards enforcement, it may come as a surprise to many that federal law prohibits distribution of obscene adult pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carrier. While the enforcers of the law have refused to do their job, pornography has become so pervasive in American society that it is creating a public health crisis with vast neurologically, psychologically, and sociologically damaging consequences.”
Trueman closed saying, “Despite being the primary federal criminal investigation and enforcement agency, DOJ has abandoned its post in the fight for freedom from sexual exploitation, objectification, and violence. It’s time to clean house at DOJ. We are confident that with the confirmation of Mr. William Barr to the position of U.S. Attorney General, DOJ will once again take up its responsibility to protect victims of sexual exploitation and to bring their abusers—be they sex buyers, pimps, pornographers, or sex traffickers masquerading as corporations—to justice.”
NCOSE invites the public to join them in voicing these concerns to members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee at endsexualexploitation.org/demand/.
To learn more about DOJ’s failure to prosecute illegal pornography visit endsexualexploitation.org/doj/.