News Articles About Trafficking on Backpage

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Trigger Warning: The articles cited here are proof of the widespread effects of Backpage.com concerning sexual exploitation and human sex trafficking.  These articles are sometimes sexually explicit in nature, covering themes such as pornography, sex trafficking, prostitution, abuse, and others.  Reader discretion is advised.

Note: These are only a small sampling of news articles reporting arrests related to sex trafficking and Backpage.com.

2018

North Carolina man, woman charged with human trafficking

January 29, 2018

Case involved Backpage.com.

 

Day 1: Victim is first witness to testify in federal human trafficking trial

January 29, 2018

Edwards allegedly coaxed women into posing for explicit photos and then used those photos to solicit sex through backpage.com

 

Delaware police make 44 prostitution arrests

January 27, 2018

The website Backpage.com was the primary communication method for arranging meets.

 

Child sex trafficking sting leads to prison for convicted pimp

January 26, 2018

A Washington County man was sentenced to 70 months in prison for pimping out a 17-year-old girl on backpage.com.

 

86 men arrested in Phoenix police sextrafficking bust

January 12, 2018

Police departments in Arizona had conducted sting operations using escort ads on websites such as Craigslist and Backpage.

 

New Yorker sentenced to 15 years for child sex trafficking

January 10, 2018

Child sex trafficking occurred through Backpage.com.

2017

“Backpage.com Ad Leads to Mother-Daughter Prostitute Team”

February 15, 2017

Mother and daughter use Backpage as a place to advertise themselves for prostitution.

 

“Juan Rodriguez, accused of forcing a 17-year-old girl to pose for nude photos, linked to other Backpage.com ads”

February 8, 2017

This 17 year old also believes that other girls were also being trafficked by the same man.  Juan Rodriguez is now facing charges of sex trafficking a person under 18.

 

“Family of teen killed by man she met on Backpage.com fights back”

February 7, 2017

A man is accused of sexually assaulting and killing a teenage girl that he met on Backpage.com.

 

“Teen girls say they were sold for sex, sue backpage.com”

January 25, 2017

5 teenage girls are suing backpage.com in California, Washington, Texas, and Alabama for providing an online marketplace for sex trafficking.

 

“Backpage.com Sex Trafficker Caught In Dominican Republic”

January 18, 2017

A 28 year old man fled the country when police started looking for him.  He is now in jail for sex trafficking a teenage girl in Texas.

2016

“Texas man charged with sex trafficking 15-year-old girl”

February 7, 2016

A Texas man remains in the Bexar County Jail on charges of human trafficking of a child and sexual assault on a child for forcing a 15-year-old girl into prostitution by posting ads on Backpage.com.

 

“Buffalo man charged with sexual trafficking of minors”

February 3, 2016

Officials arrested a 20-year-old man after he was found to be involved in the sex trafficking of minors and was in possession of child pornography.

 

“25 years in prison for St. Paul man who sold teen girls for sex on Backpage.com”

February 1, 2016

McHenry recruited at least three girls under age 18 and prostituted them for his own financial benefit. He advertised the girls on backpage.com and in chat rooms.

 

“Spartanburg man pleads guilty in human trafficking case”

January 13, 2016

Man pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy child trafficking by force for the purposes of prostitution, using backpage.com to advertise the women for sex acts.

 

“Texas Man Sentenced for Trafficking Developmentally Disabled Teen”

January 11, 2016

A man sentenced serve a total of 326 months in federal prison on felony convictions stemming from a plan to recruit a developmentally disabled teenage girl to engage in commercial sex acts using Backpage.com.

 

2015

“Two-State Sex Trafficking Case Originates in Arlington”

December 7, 2015

A 17-year-old female was taken from South Station, Boston, and taken to Rhode Island for the purpose of being trafficked for sex. Provocative pictures taken of the victim were posted in advertisements placed on Backpage.com.

 

“USA Backpage CEO Skips Congressional Hearing, Faces Charges”

November 27, 2015

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer failed to appear in a US Congressional Hearing on November 19th. Ferrer may face contempt charges as a result.

 

“Web CEO linked to ads for child prostitution is a no-show at the Senate, may be in contempt”

November 19, 2015

Backpage.com has failed to comply with subpoenas from the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations. The subpoenas sought detailed information on Backpage’s practices — information that could show the extent of the website’s knowledge that minor children are being advertised for sex.

 

“Providence joins nationwide effort to stop online sex trafficking”

October 8, 2015

Local efforts to put a stop to online sex trafficking have resulted in numerous arrests over the past few months, and the city of Providence is now also joining a nationwide campaign against the website Backpage.com.

 

East Providence Teen Pleads to Sex Trafficking of Minors”

September 16, 2015

Teen admitted to two counts of sex trafficking a minor, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, and one count of felony assault. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the teen received a certified sentence of 15 years with six years to serve.

 

“Anti-Trafficking Activists Fight Against Backpage.com”

September 10, 2015

In Washington State, the state Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that Backpage.com could be held accountable for commercial sexual exploitation in the case of three girls sold on the site.

 

“Dallas Man Sentenced For Sex Trafficking Teenage Runaways”

August 4, 2015

A man was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children, admitting he met a 17-year-old female on the Internet, convinced her to leave her foster home and go to Texas with him where he facilitated her engagement in commercial sex acts using Backpage.com.

 

“Calls mount for Backpage to cut ‘Adult’ section after prostitute murdered in hotel”

July 12, 2015

Sanisha Johnson, 34, of Bronx, N.Y., was shot to death Thursday inside the Extended Stay Hotel in Burlington by two suspects whom authorities believe preyed on “escorts” listed on Backpage.

 

“Backpage.com Adult Entertainment Section Linked to 495 Child Sex Trafficking Victims; Visa, MasterCard, AmEx Cut Ties With Site”

July 11, 2015

At least 495 victims of child sex trafficking in 46 states and D.C. have been linked to the online classified site Backpage.com, Shared Hope International says, a week after Visa, MasterCard, and American Express announced they will no longer be a payment option on the site.

 

“Use Bitcoin for all your Backpage sex trafficking and get a 10% discount”

June 2, 2015

Backpage is always touting about how they have all these safeguards in place to stop human traffickers and pimps from posting obviously criminal ads for prostitution and child prostitution on their site. Yet they accept payment for ads from such untraceable sources like pre-paid credit cards and Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which is supposed to be a favorite form of payment for various online criminal activities.

 

“Man and Woman Charged in Sex Trafficking of Teen, Woman”

April 28, 2015

A Miami-Dade man and woman are facing human trafficking charges after police say they forced a 17-year-old girl and a 32-year-old woman to engage in prostitution.

 

“Five Charged in Multi-State Sex Trafficking Ring”

March 3, 2015

St. Paul Police rescued a 17-year-old victim last September at a home in St. Paul, Minnesota. The girl was listed on Backpage.com as “Ms. Juicy,” and an undercover officer set up a date via text messages.

 

“Portland to Join Fight Against Illegal Sex Trafficking, Backpage.com”

January 20, 2015

The city of Portland is expected to join the city of San Francisco in supporting of a federal lawsuit against online advertiser Backpage.com.

 

 

2014

“How Sex Traffickers Communicate in the Digital Age”

December 15, 2014

Eleven men in a suburban Cook County motel answered an ad for sex on backpage.com and ended up in handcuffs.

 

“Stop Selling Women: Backpage.com Getting Away With Sex-Trafficking”

October 30, 2014

Shocking information shows that for years now Backpage.com has been profiting from the exploitation of both women and children through their online classifieds system. But what is even more appalling is that, so far, the site has gone largely unpunished by law enforcement for their facilitation of this despicable criminal activity.

 

“Justices Deciding Fate of Backpage.com Lawsuit”

October 22, 2014

A website sometimes used by pimps to advertise prostitutes shouldn’t be able to claim immunity from state sex-trafficking laws because it doesn’t write the ads, an attorney for three teenage victims of sex trafficking told the state Supreme Court Tuesday.

 

“Backpage.com: We didn’t write the ads selling children for sex, so we aren’t liable”

October 21, 2014

A lawyer for Backpage.com told the Washington Supreme Court on Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by three young girls who were sold as prostitutes on the website should be thrown out because the company didn’t write the ads, so it’s not liable.

 

“Here’s a Heartbreaking Look at Child Sex Slavery in America”

October 17, 2014

Two child sex trafficking victims have filed a lawsuit against Backpage.com that paints a disturbing picture of how thousands of kids are sold for sex every year in the US.

 

“Backpage.com Accused of Helping Pimps in Child Sex Trade”

October 16, 2014

In the past two years, Backpage.com has prevailed in barring enforcement of laws in Washington, Tennessee and New Jersey that aimed to hold online service providers criminally liable for advertisements that turned out to involve sexual exploitation of a minor.

 

“Two Arrested for Sex Trafficking”

August 8, 2014

Dallas Police Department’s Vice Unit, Child Exploitation Unit, and Northeast Patrol Officers rescued a 15-year-old female child sex trafficking victim. Pictures of the child had been posted on Backpage.com for the purpose of prostitution and sex trafficking.

 

“Backpage.com’s adult ads continue to normalize, increase demand for sex trafficking”

April 25, 2014

Whenever the commercial sex industry gets normalized, what we see is an increase in violence against women and attitudes that support the subordination of women.

 

“Talking Points: Child Sex Trafficking & Backpage.com”

April 6, 2014

Law enforcement officers say websites that advertise escort services are one of the biggest sources for trafficking. One website that has come under fire locally and nationally is Backpage.com. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have passed resolutions condemning the site and calling on Backpage to stop running escort ads.

 

2013

“Advocacy groups blast classifieds site Backpage.com for promoting underage sex and prostitution”

August 7, 2013

Fifty leading advocacy groups contended that the classified ad website Backpage.com “facilitates horrific instances of child sexual exploitation” and has refused to shut down its adult services.

 

“Online and Anonymous: New Challenges to Prosecuting Sex Trafficking”

August 4, 2013

Social media and websites have made it easier to be anonymous online. One of the most well-known online classified sites is Backpage.com, which is a very convenient and inexpensive platform for pimps to promote their business.

 

“State seeks to prosecute companies that abet sex trafficking”

July 25, 2013

Attorney John Choi says all of the child-trafficking cases prosecuted by his office over the past two years involved backpage.com.

 

“Online Prostitution-ad Revenue Crosses Craigslist Benchmark”

July 10, 2013

Revenue from U.S. online prostitution advertising totaled $45 million in the 12 months ended in May, surpassing a benchmark set when Craigslist abandoned its adult services section in September 2010.

 

“After sex-trafficking arrests, Backpage.com under fire”

May 19, 2013

Three sex-trafficking rings busted in three days in Central Florida. Backpage.com implicated in all three cases.

 

“Sheriff Judd threatens to arrest Backpage.com web site operators he claims abets prostitution”

May 14, 2013

A website called Backpage.com took center stage in two major prostitution busts. Sheriffs in Polk and Pinellas Counties say the web-based classified advertisement site claims to offer escort services, but actually facilitates prostitution and human trafficking.

 

2012

“Children Don’t Belong on Backpage”

July 11, 2012

As a society, we must shun the attitude that there will always be a website selling underage girls and that shutting down Backpage only creates a hole to be filled.

 

“Sex Trafficking Ring Used Backpage.com Ads”

May 24, 2012

A New Jersey man used coercion and violence to force women between 17 and 21 to act as his sex workers between November 2009 and June 2011, when investigators broke up the ring during a sting operation at a hotel in Omaha.

 

“A Lurid Journey Through Backpage.com”

May 10, 2012

Although many ads are placed by consenting adults, others are not and stories are rampant of young girls seduced online by men who turn out to be pimps or sex-traffickers.

 

“Senators Call for Backpage to End Ads Promoting Child Prostitution”

May 2, 2012

A group of 5 U.S. senators has introduced a Sense of the Senate resolution calling on Village Voice Media, the owners of Backpage.com, to end their facilitation of human trafficking and prostitution by eliminating the “adult services” section of their website.

 

“Girls Sold for Sex Online, Backpage Defends Decision to Keep Ads Up”

April 24, 2012

By insisting on keeping up ads selling underage girls for sex, Backpage claims to be assisting lawmakers as part of the solution to sex trafficking, not to mention these ads make the company over $20 million per year.

 

“Where Pimps Peddle Their Goods”

March 17, 2012

Backpage accounts for 70 percent of prostitution advertising among five web sites that carry such ads in the U.S., earning more than $22 million annually from prostitution ads.

 

2011

“NAAG: Letter from National Association of Attorneys General to Backpage”

September 16, 2011

NAAG accuses Backpage.com of being a hub for human trafficking, especially of minors, and calls for Backpage to substantiate its claims that it has “strict content policies to prevent illegal activity.”

 

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