April 6, 2018
Backpage.com is DOWN!!
I’m currently attending the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit in Herndon, VA. It has been an event that leaves one with mixed feelings — stories of kidnappings, child sexual assault, rape, human trafficking, prostitution, the buying and selling of women, girls and boys internationally and in our own backyards, but also stories of victories and recovery. Yesterday I heard the story of one of the victims portrayed on “I Am Jane Doe”, a fifteen year old who simply went to the mall around Christmas a few years back, was recruited by a girl her age, kidnapped, raped, videotaped, sold and trafficked on backpage.com Because of her parents persistence, she was returned home, but still is recovering five years later. But the parents did not give up in their fight against backpage.com!
When we came into the evening session tonight, the image that is part of this alert was posted on the big screens in the room! Backpage.com and its affiliated websites have been seized by the FBI! We also learned that seven have been indicted and they face 93 charges.
This is largely because of the passage of HR 1865, FOSTA/SESTA would amended Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which had been interpreted by the courts to protect websites like backpage.com. It’s because of your emails and phone calls to your US Representatives and US Senators that this happened. We had a big celebration during the evening hours here in Herndon, VA, but I wanted to thank each of you for caring enough to be involved in the fight against human trafficking, pornography, prostitution. This is a great victory, but the fight will continue.
Also, thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice.