Human Trafficking Part II: The Crackdown on Backpage.com

By Janice Barlow


The Door Slams on Backpage.com

BACKPAGE.COM WAS THE LEADING PROMULGATOR of sex trafficking online advertising, both of minors and adults. It ran online classified ads which allowed those in the public who knew how to gain access to it (which was not overly difficult), to set up an “account”. The Senate had been investigating Backpage for some time, and was seeking a way to crack down on it and close it down once and for all.

Backpage did not only advertise classifieds for prostitution, but it taught those involved both in hooking and pimping how to circumvent and hide from the legal system. The Senate actually called its report: “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking,”

The “clients” would go to discreet meeting places to “hook up” with the victims.

These places would constantly shift around but were  located in virtually in every medium to large city in the nation. Some still are, as other as yet undiscovered websites or just street prostitution has discreetly taken over. The pimps always have a backup plan. But Backpage was an overt online prostitution ring which was ongoing just because it could.

Backpage.com had gotten away with this form of advertising for many years due to a loophole which protected websites called, The Communications Decency Act of 1996. This broad based law prevented law enforcement from looking into their activities.

Legislation is finally protecting us and not the criminals. 

In an article on Tuesday in TribTalk, a Texas Tribune publication, Senator Ted Cruz reviewed the legislation that was signed into law by the president on April 11th of this year, aimed at shutting down websites like Backpage. The law, called Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act/Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, (SESTA/FOSTA) is designed to prosecute those who are involved both in online sex trafficking sites and the actual activities, as well as sideline felonies, such as money laundering from the business.

Initially, Backpage caught a reprieve based on a California court decision which threw the ball back at Congress. This time, Congress decided to take positive action.

In December of 2016, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman dismissed charges against the owners of Backpage.com, saying that “Congress has spoken on this matter, and it is for Congress, not this court, to revisit.”   

Consider it revisited.

The consequences of Backpage’s shutdown has also opened the door to new investigations into other nefarious online activities, some of which seem utterly weird to most decent people, but harmless on the surface. However, when the surface is peeled back,  the creeps who run the show can now be seen for who they really are.

The laws against victims of all sorts of sexual abuse can now be enforced without the Decency Act blocking the investigations. All kinds of perversions can be investigated and their online sites can be shut down. If there are victims involved, those involved in running the website can now be prosecuted without any more loopholes.

Who is guilty?

For example: Anyone who wants to perform any sexual act on a child, or view any sexual act involving minors, or even possess nude photos of children IS, by definition, a pedophile and can be labeled as one and can be kept away from children once they are caught, prosecuted, and (unfortunately) released. These people, if found guilty of these activities, are put into a permanent registry of sexual offenders. We should be checking our neighborhoods for offenders on a regular basis.

Check your local area for sex offenders often.

People should always be able to know where these reprobates live, for the protection of their own children, grandchildren, other family member’s children and neighbor’s children. Typically, the only way one can know if a person is a true pedophile is if the person has been caught doing or caught talking about doing or viewing something sexual involving minors. But now they can be reported and investigated without claiming protection under the Communications Decency Act even if they are involved in running any sort of website connected in any way to sex trafficking/pedophilia.

We need to keep in mind that the average Joe can be led to see how easy and less risky it is to meet up online and prearrange paid-for sex. The person doesn’t have to leave the privacy of their own home to go into seedy areas looking for victims. It’s all prearranged and the meets are set up in open places, such as behind department stores. This is also how women and children are lured and kidnapped into the sex trade. Right in our own neighborhoods. We need to always be on guard. (See video).

A “client” does not dare to define their proclivity as looking for “prostitution”, nor does he think of the request of a “very young partner” as pedophilia, even though personally, I place the blame not only on the website which makes the temptation so readily a reality, but also on those who go looking for the temptation, as these are people who are inherently evil below the surface. They willingly will do harm to a child, and not consider it “harm”.

The fight continues.

This past Monday, the founder of Backpage.com, Carl Ferrer, pleaded guilty to both sex trafficking and money laundering in the 94th District Court in Texas. The site is no longer accessible, a stunning victory and a major step toward eradicating human trafficking in this country.

The number one website for posting children to buy for sex no longer exists, and that is huge in ending the fight against human trafficking,” Prosecutor Michelle Putman told reporters Monday.

The problem is so rampant, Ted Cruz states, that in Texas alone as reported in a study in late 2016 by the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault:

…there are currently an estimated 313,000 victims of human trafficking in our state, including approximately 79,000 minors and youth as victims of sex trafficking.

What is also frightening about that figure is, included in the almost 230,000 Texas victims who were not then minors, many likely were minors at the time that they were actually lured or kidnapped and groomed to be prostitutes.

Liberal Women Defend Prostitution. 

In a debauched twist from the liberal camp, the Twitter page of the Women’s March was in a tizzy about the shutdown of Backpage.com. One wonders why the elimination of one more source that victimizes women, especially minors, to be sexually used and abused, would upset a group which is supposedly principled on the protection of women’s rights.

So, being a prostitute, most likely because she didn’t have a choice, but was being groomed from the start as a minor and was introduced to drugs which she became addicted to and a pimp whom she depended upon for survival is a right?

“The shutting down of #Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to safely get in touch with clients. Sex workers rights are women’s rights. Follow@SafeSpacesDC @melissagira @swopusa @KateDAdamo @supporthosechi@anaorsomething for more info.” 

One reporter of the Washington Free Beacon actually stated this truth: “The Women’s March is officially more accepting of prostitution and sex trafficking than it is pro-life women.” 

Backpage was no doubt responsible for the deaths of many victims, but these three are mentioned in a Real Clear Politics article where the quote above also appears:

  • 16-year-old Desiree Robinson was sold into sex on Backpage for $250 and then killed and dumped in a garage on Christmas Eve.
  •  Ashley Benson was bought on Backpage and then strangled by her buyer after an argument about money.
  •  Alexus Garcia, whose body was burnt after the man who bought her on Backpage killed her and tried to cover up his crime. 

Obviously, women need to be more vocal about protecting other women and children from being sold, kidnapped, lured and groomed into the sex trade. It certainly doesn’t help to have members of the left uplifting prostitution as a noble “career”. Tell the parents of the girls mentioned above about that.

 

Part 1 can be read by clicking here: http://www.nationalcompass.net/2018/04/16/human-trafficking-united-states-common-situation/

Part 3, the final part in this series, will appear on Sunday, and it will cover what we can do as concerned citizens to spot, report, and get sex trafficking places shut down that are hiding in plain sight.

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