Part 1 0 Shares Email In an old home movie, young Natalie is laughing and running around with a soccer ball. She estimates she was paid for sex over times, and she firmly believes that the site made it possible for her pimp to post ads offering her for sex over and over again.
All day, every day. Natalie is now a year-old mother with a toddler and another baby on the way. She is part of a major lawsuit against Backpage. Senate for its alleged connection to underage sex trafficking. She ran away from home because she said she received a bad grade at school and was nervous about how her parents would react to it. I was having a good time. She called her husband Tom and said they needed to go to the police immediately.
She said her older friend was turning tricks right in front of her. She had been a virgin. Her family was overjoyed to have her back, but Natalie was still grappling with how to deal with what had happened to her.
This feeling of not belonging drove her to make another bad choice: Natalie was still just 15 years old. Then she met year-old Baruti Hopson. She said he was kind to her at first and gave her a place to stay, but then she said things took a horrible turn. While it is free for someone to post adult services ads, Backpage makes money by offering paid add-ons, including the ability to re-post the ad every hour and to post it in multiple neighboring cities.
But the sad truth is Nacole is among many American mothers who have had to ask themselves the same question. It only took 48 hours of her being gone for Debbie to find her images on Backpage. Instead of giving her a safe place to stay, she says this woman forced her into prostitution. Crystal says they were re-posting her Backpage ad every five minutes and forcing her to have sex with the men who would come to the house.
Both of these girls were eventually rescued by police. The adults who posted them to Backpage were convicted in court. Backpage denies these allegations and is fighting them in court. But so far, every lawsuit filed by a trafficked underage girl against Backpage has been dismissed because of a law called the Communications Decency Act of The law protects Backpage, among others, from being held legally responsible for what users post on its website.
Also called the CDA, the law shields websites or online publishers for information posted by third parties. The company told ABC News in a statement that it employs moderators who diligently screen ads to stop underage trafficking on its site. They added that they have voluntarily undertaken a multi-tiered "policing system to prohibit and report attempts at human exploitation and the advertisement of prostitution" that screens for words and phrases that might "suggest illegal activity" and that the company actively cooperates with law enforcement.
The only available payment methods on the site now are Bitcoin or mail-in check. He would spend days in the car, driving around Seattle, searching desperately for his missing girl.
Until one night, he said things went too far. But Tom didn't go through with it. One of their officers had posed as a client, and when she walked into his hotel room, he stopped her.
He and Natalie instantly formed a special bond the night she was rescued. He then helped Natalie build up the courage to testify in the trial of Baruti Hopson, who was sentenced to 26 and a half years in prison for promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor. Minutes after he posted the ad, calls and texts started streaming in. The ad was up and running. Yiota Souras, general counsel for NCMEC, said 73 percent of the reports they receive from the general public about suspected underage trafficking involve a Backpage post.
Therefore they have to be investigated. The Senate is now seeking to enforce the subpoena. The nearly page Senate report is available for download here.
They are told to then post the edited ad anyway, even though the investigators say this editing would not change the nature of the underlying transition.
The court will decide if Ferrer will be compelled to testify and if Backpage has to hand over their internal documents. Natalie is hoping her Washington state lawsuit , which focuses on the claim that Backpage knowingly developed itself into an online marketplace for illegal prostitution, will be the first of its kind to be successful against the company.
Backpage responded to the allegations laid out in the Washington state lawsuit, according to court documents, stating that, "Backpage does not allow advertisements on its website to contain naked images, images featuring transparent clothing, sexually explicit language, suggestions of an exchange of sex acts for money, or advertisements for illegal services.
They have memories… It makes me a little bitter.