Breaking News: On Monday, Backpage.com shut down their adult only classified pages on their site, due to government pressure for allegedly facilitating and encouraging sex trafficking.
Carl Ferrer, Backpage CEO, just recently won his battle with California attorney, Kamala Harris, in which Harris accused him of profiting from the illegal portions of his site that often involved pimping, child prostitution, sex trafficking and other crimes. Harris portrayed Ferrer as encouraging the illegal portions of his site because of the high yield of profit he gained from them. Now, Ferrer is being brought before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs for the same concerns.
As the investigation continues, Backpage has shut down their adult section of their site, which has raised several eyebrows. Sen. Rob Portman and Claire McCaskill stated, “Backpage’s response wasn’t to deny what we said. It was to shut down their site and that’s not censorship—it’s validation of our findings.” Backpage has responded that the closing of their site will do little to stop human trafficking.
While Backpage is down, it is extremely important to remember that there are other sites out there offering the same types of services where law enforcement patrols. Nobody is out of the woods yet. Sites like Tagged and Craigslist also offer classified ads for “adult only” clientele. As new social media websites continue to emerge, people have started using Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Snapchat to start conversations with individuals seeking illegal sex acts and then transferring the conversation to personal cell phones. It’s always important, without seeing the person you’re talking to face-to-face, to be weary of everyone, always thinking it could be an undercover officer or someone posing to be older than they actually are.
If you or someone you know is involved with a sting operation and in need of an attorney, please contact Cindy Castillo immediately. Cindy can be reached at 480-206-5204 and is available 24/7. Stay tuned on our blog for more updates about the Backpage investigation and criminal defense law.