At trailer homes in suburban Lake Worth and in Martin County, Miguel Angel Alvarez Maradiaga oversaw the family business — brothels and prostitution houses, authorities said.
Miami Beach (CBS Miami) - The Miami- Dade State Attorney's Office announced Thursday that seven people are behind bars, accused in several separate, unrelated human trafficking cases.
Prosecutors said these cases are becoming more and more prevalent in the South Florida community.
Joker Peak, 20, and Alexander Brown, 33, were arrested Wednesday for prostituting a 16-year-old girl on Miami Beach. She came down with friends from Vero Beach, met Brown and was invited back to his hotel room. Inside, police said Brown and Peak began grooming her for a life as a prostitute.
In court, prosecutors revealed the young victim was forced to pay off a $2,500 debt.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said since her office opened its human trafficking unit in 2012, they've built more than 400 cases.
"The selling of women and children by modern slavers into a life of constant abuse and pain," she said. "They are dehumanized. They are beaten and drugged into submission."
On Thursday, prosecutors laid out five other arrests, outlining horrific details in separate incidents.
"In one case, the victim was as young as 16 years old. In another case, the victim was brutally beaten in front of her 18-moht-old-baby," said Fernandez Rundle.
She also mentioned a case where an out-of-state woman was told she was going to Disney World, only to wind up forced into prostitution in Miami.
"They lured her to Miami where they forced her to have sex," said the state's top prosecutor, who added that these suspects are preying on some of the most vulnerable in the community and forcing them into desperate acts.
"It is primarily our local girls and boys. Runaways or throwaways, Fernandez Rundle said. "Usually always running away from some sort of abuse and neglect in their own homes."
In similar but unrelated incidents, 23-year-old Juan Carlos Carrat and 56-year-old Michael Anthony Miller face several charges including human trafficking and profiting from prostitution. Carrat was also charged with battery. Miller was charged with false imprisonment.
Investigations continue in these cases.
If you know someone who may be a victim of human trafficking, contact the state attorney's human trafficking unit at (305) 547-0749.
Read the original story here.
By Jake Stofan
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Three bills to protect human trafficking victims passed a House committee in the state Capitol Thursday as nearly 200 people marched in Tallahassee for Anti-Human Trafficking Advocacy Day.
In 2016, Florida received 1,890 reports of human trafficking. Advocates said many more go unreported.
At the Capitol, one victim shared her story.
“Which led into just a long line of trauma and drug addiction. And then, at 24, I was trafficked for a second time," said victim and advocate Christa Hicks, of Fort Myers.
Inside, legislation allowing victims to sue those who profit from their enslavement cleared a House committee.
“I think it not only will allow victims to be compensated for their actual damages, but I think (it will) kind of suppress some of the activity among the traffickers if they know that everything they own is essentially going to be on the line," said Rep. Ross Spano, R-Tampa.
Not only can traffickers be held responsible, but business owners that allow sex trafficking to take place on their property would be held accountable.
“Now (it will) allow the Attorney General to file that civil forfeiture action to take that property away from that person who, in willful blindness, knows exactly really what's going on," Spano said.
Those who work directly with victims said this legislation would incentivize victims to come forward.
“Oftentimes victims of human trafficking do not self-identify, but this would be an extra initiative to understand that this is giving the power back to them," said Marina Anderson, DCF human trafficking coordinator.
A second bill sets up a trust fund from assets seized from traffickers to help victims, while a third bill allows some court proceeding to be closed to keep victims anonymous.
For the last six years, Florida has passed a major piece of legislation on human trafficking. The state is ranked among the top ten states working to tackle the issue.
Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
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The number of reported cases of human trafficking is soaring in Florida: nearly 1,900 reported cases in fiscal 2015-16, a 54 percent increase over the previous year, according to the state’s Department of Children and Families.
It’s a huge problem. South Florida is the third-busiest region in the nation for it, the U.S. Justice Department says. The authorities have a long way to go before they stem the flow.
Yet the news isn’t entirely bad. A problem that had been underground for years is finally emerging into the open. In fact, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, when asked about the startling rise in reported cases, reacted by saying, “That’s great!”
“When I started talking about this as ‘modern day slavery,’ no wanted to hear it,” Bondi, who has made human trafficking a signature issue, told the Palm Beach Post Editorial Board.
Dave Kerner, a Palm Beach County commissioner who has been both a state legislator and law enforcement officer, agrees that in past years human trafficking went severely under-reported.
“When someone steals your purse, that’s an easy crime to count,” Kerner said. But human trafficking, a catch-all phrase for forced prostitution and forced labor, is deeply unsettling. It’s a problem that skulks in the shadows. When a glimpse appears, you want to avert your eyes.
So it seems the 2015 Florida law which mandates the display of human trafficking-awareness signs has been doing its job. The signs in English and Spanish explain the problem and how to phone or text for help. They’re required in such places as airports, rail stations, hospital emergency rooms, schools, welcome centers, adult entertainment establishments and massage parlors.
But with South Florida identified as the nation’s third-busiest region for human trafficking, we want to see much more done.
Luckily, the added sunshine is producing a flowering of ideas. Politicians from both parties and at all levels of government are advancing proposals: More shelters to help juveniles rescued from prostitution or forced labor to build better lives. More education for teachers, emergency room workers and police officers on how to spot victims.
Prosecutors in Florida are stepping up (the AG’s Office alone currently has cases on 90 defendants), but as Kerner says, the federal government is best suited to handle the complexity of trafficking rings, which frequently cross state lines and national borders. We could use new federal laws – or at least strong pledges from multinational corporations — to ensure that supply chains for farm and factory products are free of forced labor.
County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay says she has been working with code enforcement officials to educate club owners on the awareness-sign requirements, training first responders to recognize potential victims and reviewing adult entertainment ordinances “to see if there are ways we can develop opportunities for education and awareness.”
“This dark underworld needs to be brought into the light,” McKinlay told the Editorial Board in an email.
But will budget-minded governments supply the money and manpower needed to make good on these intentions? Will the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown discourage vulnerable victims or tipsters from approaching authorities?
We’re encouraged to see the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Palm Beach lead a partnership to investigate local reports of human trafficking and help victims. They’re sharing a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department for a three-year project— just the start, we hope, of a longer commitment.
The first step in solving any problem is recognizing the problem. As a society and a state, we are doing that. Now must come the follow-through. When victims are identified, give them help. When perpetrators are caught, throw the book at them.
It seems the 2015 Florida law which mandates the display of human trafficking-awareness signs has been doing its job.
Julius Whigham II Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
4:59 p.m Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 Palm Beach County Crime
The recent case of three men accused of kidnapping a 19-year-old woman in Boynton Beach and trying to force her into prostitution is among a rapidly growing number of reported human trafficking incidents in Florida, state officials say.
The Florida Department of Children and Families counted nearly 1,900 reports of human trafficking statewide in 2016, a 54 percent increase from the previous year.
Advocates for victims have called human trafficking modern-day slavery. Under state and federal law, it is defined as soliciting, recruiting, harboring, transporting or otherwise obtaining another person to exploit him or her for labor, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation.
“Human trafficking is something that can go on right before your eyes and you might not recognize it,” said Sheila Gomez, the executive director of the Catholic Charities Diocese of Palm Beach, one of Palm Beach County’s largest family service nonprofits.
According to the Polaris Project – a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. that tracks the number of calls to the national trafficking hotline – Florida had the third-highest number of reported cases in 2016, behind only California and Texas.
South Florida’s popularity among tourists and its transient populations help make it a popular target for the crime, some authorities say.
“Any place where there are young adults,” said Becky Dymond, the founder of Hepzibah House, a safe house in Palm Beach County for women who have been victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. “Traffickers, they’ll go to bus stops, halfway houses, sober houses, strip clubs, bars.”
Today, Catholic Charities is expected to announce the receipt of a grant and the start of a partnership with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to combat human trafficking.
The Boynton Beach incident took place in the early morning hours of Feb. 9. The men entered a home on Northwest Fourth Street, two of them with guns drawn. One pointed a revolver at the 19-year-old’s stomach, grabbed her by the back of her head and forced her to leave the house, police say.
An ad for the woman later appeared on the Backpage.com website advertising sexual relationships. An undercover detective arranged to meet her at a Boynton Beach motel, offering to pay $200, before the men were arrested. One of the men allegedly told officers they had gone to the Boynton Beach home to “pimp” the woman out.
Officials say violent acts such as this one are less common than scenarios where persuasion and kindness are used by a would-be trafficker to gain their target’s trust.
“Perhaps that person, they are really down on their luck or it could be a number of vulnerabilities,” said Tanya Meade, president of the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches. “At the end of the day, somebody uses else’s vulnerability to make a profit.”
POINT OF VIEW: The human cost of trafficking
Dymond estimates about 2,100 women in Palm Beach County are being commercially sexually exploited, not including those who are trafficked online. Women and men in drug recovery are particularly vulnerable to being manipulated by traffickers, she said.
“All they have to do is go ‘Hey, you can have as much coke as you want,’ ” Dymond said. “That’s one of the tools they use to manipulate and maintain control.”
Anti-trafficking organizations already are targeting at least one tool the Boynton Beach suspects are alleged to have used. This month, an unnamed Florida woman who says she was the victim of trafficking through Backpage and an anti-human trafficking organization filed a lawsuit in federal court in Orlando against the owners of Backpage.com
“The online exploitation of teen girls is the biggest human rights violation of our time,” said Carol Robles-Roman, the president and CEO of Legal Momentum, a New York-based women’s rights organization that helped prepare the lawsuit. “Backpage.com knowingly facilitated this evil and must be held accountable to the harmed girls and to the organizations that provide them services so they can heal and recover.”
This past month, the site closed its adult advertisement section, citing government pressure, according to multiple published reports.
Statistics show the majority of reported human trafficking cases involve women, but it can also happen to men and boys, officials say.
“There is no such thing as a typical victim,” Meade said. “They can be young people. They can be older. They can be male. It happens really across the socioeconomic (spectrum).”
In many cases, calls to the trafficking hotline are made by a community member who observed something out of the ordinary, she said. According to the Polaris Project, signs of human trafficking include a person being unable to leave as he or she wishes, lacking control over his or her finances, and lacking control over his or her identificiation.
“The biggest thing we always encourage people to do is just educate themselves about the issue,” Meade said. “If they see something that doesn’t look right or feel right, call the hotline.”
SEE ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS?
Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.
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Shelia Fedrick said she instinctively felt something was wrong the moment she saw the girl with greasy blonde hair sitting in the window seat of aisle 10 on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco.
The girl "looked like she had been through pure hell," said Fedrick, 49, a flight attendant working for Alaska Airlines. Fedrick guessed that the girl was about 14 or 15 years old, travelling with a notably well-dressed older man. The stark contrast between the two set off alarm bells in her head.
Fedrick tried to engage them in conversation, but the man became defensive, she said.
"I left a note in one of the bathrooms," Fedrick said. "She wrote back on the note and said 'I need help.'"
Fedrick says she called the pilot and told him about the passengers, and when the plane landed, police were waiting in the terminal.
It's that kind of intuition that former flight attendant Nancy Rivard, founder of Airline Ambassadors, is trying to instill in airline staff across the nation as she trains them on how to spot the signs of human trafficking.
Related: Invisible Boys: Inside the Push to Help Unseen Victims of the Sex Trade
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims last year. Since 2009 Airline Ambassadors has been working to make sure that when a trafficker flies with a victim, the flight crew is trained to spot and report them.
Last week Rivard and several of her colleagues flew to Houston to meet with approximately 100 flight attendants who volunteered for the Airline Ambassadors training session on how to recognize human trafficking.
Over two days, former victims related their experiences to the flight attendants. In-flight crews were taught to look for passengers who appear frightened, ashamed or nervous; people traveling with someone who doesn't appear to be a parent or relative; and children or adults who appear bruised or battered.
They're also taught to notice if someone insists on speaking for the alleged victim, doesn't let them out of their sight or becomes defensive when questioned. Victims sometimes appear drugged.
Super Bowl Connection
Much of the training took place at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport, where the flight attendants were taught how to put their skills to use in a densely packed airport.
The time and place of the training were no coincidence. With the Super Bowl just days away, Rivard wants to ensure that flight attendants working routes in and out of Houston are able to spot the signs of a victim who needs help.
Related: Exposing the Unspeakable: World Day Against Human Trafficking
There's no evidence that the Super Bowl has a higher than average rate of human trafficking. But sex work does spike when travel increases for a big event, experts say. And sex work and human trafficking often go hand-in-hand.
Houston's Mayor Sylvester Turner also used the Super Bowl to highlight the city's ongoing effort to combat human trafficking in the region.
"We don't want to be known as the hub in this region for (human trafficking)," Turner said during a January 13 press conference.
Learning To Pull Back
Airline Ambassador flight attendants say one of the hardest lessons to learn is to pull back when they suspect a victim is on board.
"We tell people not to try to rescue because you can endanger the victim and yourself," Rivard said.
Flight attendants call the pilot when they suspect a human trafficking victim is on board. The pilot then calls ahead to the flights' destination where authorities are notified to meet the plane.
"One part of our training, and it's the difficult part, but once we report it, we're supposed to let it go," says Andrea Hobart, 36, an Airline Ambassador trainer and flight attendant with Alaska Airlines. "Even though it's hard to let it go, you transfer it into the hands of the authorities and they'll pursue the case."
Flight attendants trainer gather for a two-day seminar held by Airline Ambassadors International in Houston, Texas.
Airline Ambassadors has also taken the fight to Congress to push for regular, required flight attendant training on all airlines in the United States.
Related: Uber Driver Saves 16-Year-Old Girl From Sex Trafficking
Airline Ambassador Sandra Fiorini, 69, testified before Congress in 2010 about trafficking she witnessed during her 42-year career as a flight attendant with American Airlines, including girls she suspected were trafficked after flying from Moscow to the United States under the guise of becoming actresses and models.
Last year, the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 implemented training of flight attendants to spot potential trafficking victims.
But Rivard and Fiorini continue to lobby Congress for better awareness training for flight attendants.
Until that happens, Rivard will keep traveling across the country teaching flight attendants how to be the eyes in the sky protecting human trafficking victims.
Read the original story here.
FEBRUARY 4, 2017 BY SUSANNA BEAN
Since news broke that Backpage.com was shutting down the “adult services” section of its website, reactions have ranged from joy to concern. These reactions prompted conversations about the effectiveness of the shutdown in preventing child sex trafficking, concerns for potential detrimental effects, and questions about next steps. We have written about our perspective on the shutdown and the report released by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking.” But the discussions that the news prompted are important, and to add to this dialog we are beginning a blog series featuring the voices of survivors and law enforcement on the issue of Backpage.com and the online facilitation of sex trafficking. This is the last blog featuring these four survivors of sex trafficking about their perspectives on the Backpage.com debate. This was the third blog in this series. Read Part 1 and Part 2 here. Watch for a 4th blog in this series next week featuring an interview with a law enforcement officer on Backpage.com.
In this blog we interview four survivors of sex trafficking:
In your opinion, what impact does the shutdown of Backpage.com’s “adult services” section have on the sex trafficking of minors?
Tara Madison: The statistics are clear that minors were being sold for “adult services” on Backpage.com. Shutting down these services could potentially save hundreds and thousands of minors from being sold online for sex, but deleting these web pages does not mean the abolishment of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. There will be new sites selling these same services that could potentially have stronger encryption and tougher access for law enforcement and governmental agencies.
The shutdown of Backpage.com’s adult services is a means to an end. To quote Martin Luther King, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” In this country we must continue to do everything in our power to end this horrific violation of human rights.
A Female Survivor: Absolutely none. There are others who will step in to fill that void. When I was being trafficked there was no Backpage.com and child sex trafficking thrived. Shutdown was good for publicity of the issue itself, but that’s about it.
Kathy Bryan: Sadly, very little. We must not be fooled into thinking shuttering Backpage.com adult ads will somehow stop or lessen human trafficking. It simply forces the criminals to use other ways to ply their trade, most of which already exist. Assuming a trafficker has only one victim, and that victim generates a minimum of $1,000 daily, or $365,000 per year, we’d be foolish to think they wouldn’t quickly find another way to keep that income flowing. There’s no way they will throw their hands in the air, and decide they should just go get a job!
The internet did not exist when I was being trafficked in residences as a teenager. However, there was never a shortage of buyers. My point is, those who participate in this crime will find it regardless of internet sites. It flourished when I was sold in the early 80’s, and it flourishes now. This is a heart condition. The hearts of people who are consumed with greed, power, and lust fuel this crime. We can mitigate circumstances, make and enforce laws, and educate on the reality of slavery, however it will never end without a heart change both in the individual and as a society. In the meantime, turning a blind eye to a legal corporation whose coffers grow fatter daily from sales of human flesh is unconscionable. I applaud our Senate for all they are doing in this matter.
A Male Survivor: The sex trafficking of minors is a national and international scourge on humanity. At times it feels impossible to completely stop, but that is a defeatist perspective and one devoid of hope. I can’t help but think of the starfish story – the person on the beach tossing one of thousands of starfish on the beach back into the ocean – will one person save all the starfish, no, but it matters to that one starfish that is saved. There are plenty of examples of other illegal websites being shut down (Napster, Silk Road) – ask any law enforcement officer whether they believe shutting down one website eliminates the problem – the answer is no, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to save one more child. It was the latest website caught facilitating crime and its time has come to an end. The fact that the Backpage owner is wealthy and thought he was above the law just adds to the repulsiveness of their self-serving, ignorant arguments in support of their facilitating criminal acts against children. Good riddance.
FEBRUARY 3, 2017 BY SUSANNA BEAN
Since news broke that Backpage.com was shutting down the “adult services” section of its website, reactions have ranged from joy to concern. These reactions prompted conversations about the effectiveness of the shutdown in preventing child sex trafficking, concerns for potential detrimental effects, and questions about next steps. We have written about our perspective on the shutdown and the report released by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking.” But the discussions that the news prompted are important, and to add to this dialog we are beginning a blog series featuring the voices of survivors and law Enforcement on the issue of Backpage.com and the online facilitation of sex trafficking. Tomorrow we’ll publish the last blog featuring these four survivors of sex trafficking on their perspectives on the Backpage.com debate. This is the second blog in that series. Read Part 1 here.
In this blog we interview four survivors of sex trafficking:
Critics of the closure of Backpage.com’s “adult services” section have voiced concern that exploitation will take place in much more dangerous conditions, such as on the street, rather than via the anonymity of the Internet. What is your perspective on that argument?
Tara Madison: This is a biased argument. The concept that illegal sexual exploitation is safer from one’s own living room than on the street is only protecting the perpetrators of these illicit acts and not the victims. Victims of sex trafficking are in grave danger, regardless of the sale conditions! The anonymity of the internet only makes it harder to recover these victims whose lives are at risk!
A Female Survivor: “Conditions more dangerous?”—no. When you are in a hotel room you don’t know who is going to walk in the door. On the street, she actually has others around that might tip her off to the danger of a “bad trick”. She will be more alert and will size up a person for danger.
Kathy Bryan: I would never negate the fact that the comfort of a motel/hotel room is far better than the street, it totally is. The truth is trafficking is incredibly dangerous wherever it occurs. The main danger is from the trafficker and buyer, who will be present no matter the location. Trafficking has been occurring since the beginning of time. Telling ourselves that Backpage.com’s advertisement services somehow makes it safer and less harmful is an illusion at best, and a travesty at worst. Yes, the victim didn’t have to go procure the buyer, which is much nicer, and could add a small measure of safety. However, nothing makes the fact that you are being raped several times a day by someone, who paid to do it, easier to live with. Not to mention, there are, unfortunately, a great number of other sites on which to advertise.
A Male Survivor: The argument is that Backpage prevents pimping under-aged youth from happening on the streets? The only analogy I can think of is methadone and in that scenario, the fact that a person is using methadone instead of heroin, doesn’t change the fact that they are still a drug addict. And to assert that Backpage makes pimping children safer, is simply outrageous. This is another argument to assert Backpage should be allowed to facilitate illegal activity because they mean well. Really? Backpage wants to continue their facilitation because they mean well and cooperate with law enforcement? It’s nothing to do with the billion dollar industry, it’s just because they care so much about the children, right?
Read the original story here.
FEBRUARY 2, 2017 BY SUSANNA BEAN
Since news broke that Backpage.com was shutting down the “adult services” section of its website, reactions have ranged from joy to concern. These reactions prompted conversations about the effectiveness of the shutdown in preventing child sex trafficking, concerns for potential detrimental effects, and questions about next steps. We have written about our perspective on the shutdown and the report released by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking.” But the discussions that the news prompted are important, and to add to this dialog we are beginning a blog series featuring the voices of survivors and law enforcement on the issue of Backpage.com and the online facilitation of sex trafficking. For the next three days we will hear from four survivors of sex trafficking about their perspectives on the Backpage.com debate. This is the first blog in that series. Read Part 2 here.
In this blog we interview four survivors of sex trafficking:
Tara Madison: The notion that Backpage.com has worked cooperatively with law enforcement in the recovery of victims is nil at best. Backpage.com has been held in contempt by the US Senate for refusing to turn over documentation in child sex trafficking investigations and the recent Senate hearing divulged that the corporation had been editing submitted ads to avoid detection of minors, along with informing their employees to only report the absolute minimal red flags in the instance of suspected child exploitation.
NCMEC claims that 71% of child sex trafficking cases in America are linked to Backpage.com ads. Over one million ads were being posted daily on this site for illegal sex, so to what degree do we measure “cooperation”? If a corporation or individual claims to be cooperating with law enforcement, why would that same corporation or individual be unwilling to cooperate with the government about the same matter?
A Female Survivor: Maybe some, but how many have slipped though that net? I have not had a conversation with a law enforcement officer that was thankful for that Backpage.com help. Might possibly find missing minors but with or without Backpage.com children will still be sold.
Kathy Bryan: It sounds good, in theory. However, that would be like saying don’t prosecute the alleged bank robber because he helped the little old lady cross the street, or has also assisted in the search for missing children in his area. Assisting with something does not negate any criminal activity you also participate in. Backpage’s involvement in human trafficking must be stopped, which, by the way, it hasn’t. The ads have simply moved to another area of Backpage.com.
Perhaps they have assisted law enforcement and NCMEC, however, it begs the questions how, and to what degree, when you read NCMEC’s own report detailing how little cooperation they indeed received from Backpage, despite intensive, ongoing efforts to work with them. Here’s a link to it: http://www.missingkids.com/Testimony/11-19-15
The real issue is we have a legal business profiting from the illegal sale of humans. Trafficking people is illegal in the U.S. Prostitution is illegal in most of the U.S., as is buying sex. If I were found to have assisted or materially participated in any of those three crimes, I would be considered guilty of those crimes. Backpage is not only assisting in the process of trafficking, they are making money from doing so! If Backpage were supporting any other illegal endeavor such as advertising illegal drugs, murder for hire, etc., it would have been stopped long ago, and criminal charges would be made.
One can purchase nearly anything on Backpage. A home, couch, car, clothing, animals, and yes, humans. Interestingly, Backpage posts FREE classified ads EXCEPT for those advertising people. Meaning they make money from the illegal activities of trafficking and prostitution, literally profiting from victimization. Allow me one example of just how lucrative it is for Backpage.com to sell adult ads. These are actual fees a fellow survivor knows were charged when she was sold. One daily ad was $30, and a repost of that ad was $5 per day. She was never advertised with less than four ads per day, and each was reposted five times. So, 4 ads x $30 = $120, plus 5 reposts x 4 ads = 20 reposts x $5 = $100. So, a daily charge of $220. After 365 days, this would have provided Backpage.com with $80,300 per year. This is from one victim! Perhaps now you can see just how much advertising human trafficking lined their pockets.
A Male Survivor: I think the argument that Backpage should be allowed to continue potentially illegal activity because now they are cooperating with law enforcement is a bit like saying, a company that allows its members to hunt endangered wildlife should be allowed to continue because they don’t tell their customers the police are probably watching them. It seems like a well-intentioned argument, but nonetheless, incredibly stupid. If every illegal activity could be justified because the police “might” catch one of the criminals, what shouldn’t we allow? It’s like saying let’s give members of organized crime a pass if they hand over one of their customers after an illegal transaction. Thanks but no thanks.
Read the original story here.
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