The victim was forced to perform sex acts at gun point, choked until she had seizures and gang-raped. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has told Congress that nearly three quarters of the cases submitted to the center relate to ads posted on the site. He added that his client has since been released on his own recognizance. Michael Piccarreta, a lawyer for Padilla, said his client was employed by a company that hosted third-party content.
Attorneys for Larkin could not immediately be reached. Last month, Congress passed legislation that makes it easier for state prosecutors and sex-trafficking victims to sue website operators that facilitate online sex trafficking. Another year-old girl was forced to do in-calls at hotels. A Justice Department official said the case against Backpage does not rely on sex trafficking charges, but rather on charges connected to prostitution, which are easier to prosecute. In the indictment, the U. But some internet and free speech advocates warned the action could lead to harsh federal limits on expression and the press. To prove sex trafficking, prosecutors would need to show each individual ad either involved a minor, or featured an adult who was selling sex through force or coercion. Heitkamp helped draft legislation passed by the Senate last month that makes it easier for state prosecutors and sex-trafficking victims to sue social media networks, advertisers and others that fail to keep sex trafficking and exploitative materials off their platforms.. The unsealed indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Arizona, lays out details concerning 17 alleged victims, including both adults and minors as young as 14 years old, who were trafficked on the site. Groups and political leaders working to end forced prostitution and child exploitation celebrated the shutdown of Backpage, a massive ad marketplace that is primarily used to sell sex. There would be "a dramatic shift in the marketplace starting tonight," he added. Sex ads website Backpage shut down by U. The indictment, which also includes money laundering charges, was made public after Backpage. He is no more responsible than the owner of a community billboard when someone places an ad on it," he said. In one case, a young teenager was sold for sex on the site with ads that included code words for certain sex acts. The victim was forced to perform sex acts at gun point, choked until she had seizures and gang-raped. Paul Cambria, an attorney for Lacey, called the charges "baseless" and said the seizure of his client's website represents a "massive assault on the First Amendment," a reference to the part of the U. The indictment said that in private, Lacey "bragged about the company's contributions to the prostitution industry, writing in one internal document 'Backpage is part of the solution. Now no child will be sold for sex through this website," tweeted Senator Heidi Heitkamp. The bill, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law this week, amends the Communications Decency Act, which largely shielded website operators from state criminal charges or civil liability if they were facilitating sex ads or prostitution. Attorneys for the remaining defendants could not immediately be reached. The legislation, featured prominently in the popular Netflix documentary "I am Jane Doe," amends the Communications Decency Act, which has shielded website operators from state criminal charges or civil liability if they facilitate sex ads or prostitution. The judge in the case ruled the website was protected by the First Amendment, and it was not liable for the speech of third parties. In the posting about the seizure, the department had originally said more information would be made public on Friday evening. It's a huge step.
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