Minnesota Authorities React to Backpage.com Adult Services Shutdown
Authorities in Minnesota who fight the sex trafficking industry are reacting to Backpage.com move to shut down it's adult services section.
The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report charging that Backpage has created a lucrative marketplace that makes child sex trafficking easier. The report cites internal documents showing that up to 80 percent of the site's ads are edited to conceal the true nature of the underlying transaction.Washington County Attorney Pete Orput says he was surprised by the move. Orput's office consistently monitors backpage.com for criminal activity. With it now shut down, Orput says the problem will move to other sites on web.
"That shut down it means it didn't go away, it just went somewhere else and now we have to find out where these other places that people are doing this so it's a bit of a cat and mouse game but I'm willing to play it," Orput said.Orput says in the last ten days Washington County has found seven girls and arrested five pimps from information obtained on backpage.com.
Executives at Backpage.com are refusing to testify before Congress following a Senate report that accuses the site of systematically editing its "adult" ads to remove words that indicate sex trafficking.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.