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In response, Craigslist — which remained a popular hub of prostitution — took down its personal ads for users in the United States.
And they’ve indicted the website’s founders and employees, alleging the company raked in tens of millions while knowingly facilitating the prostitution of minors.
It was billed as a resounding victory for law enforcement, but the demand for sex won’t stop.
In 2016, California’s Attorney General filed pimping-related charges against Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer, and founders Lacey and Larkin.
A state court judge threw out the case, echoing the site’s longtime position: that Backpage was protected when publishing speech posted by other people.
Critics say the site’s shutdown may make work more dangerous for women in Florida’s ever-thriving sex industry — and will push the business to murkier parts of the internet, complicating the job of local police officers who regularly scoured Backpage to find trafficking victims.
“People are celebrating a hollow victory,” said Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, an author and criminology professor at George Mason University who serves an expert witness in human-trafficking cases. It was a centralized location where they could find ads and decide whether or not to initiate a sting.” Said Amber, a co-founder of the Sex Workers Outreach Project in Tampa: “Sex workers all over the country are in a panic.
She also used another website that screened clients. In Miami-Dade, posts on Backpage have resulted in many high-profile human trafficking cases.
Both sites have now stopped taking ads from the United States. In recent years, those charged include a local Spanish-language singer, a man who forced a runaway teen to tattoo his street name on her eyelids and a businessman who lured girls from Kazakhstan with the false promise of working at a yoga studio.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 74 percent of all its child-trafficking report last year was generated from Backpage.
The State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit and local police have used Backpage as a chief tool, leading to scores of arrests in recent years.
The website offered free or low-cost classified ads for people renting rooms, selling cars or peddling used furniture.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating