Backpage.com — where the online sex trade fled after a crackdown on Craigslist — is now in the cross hairs of law enforcement as authorities say the Arizona-based site has raked in as much as $30 million from flesh-peddling ads, including dozens that have led to child prostitution and sex trafficking busts, reports the Boston Herald. “Enough is enough,” said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley. “As Craigslist recognized some time ago, sites of this nature are assisting in the scourge of human trafficking and child exploitation. I'd urge them as strongly as I urged Craigslist to take down those ads.”
Law enforcers across the U.S. are turning up the heat on Backpage.com — an online marketplace owned by Phoenix-based Village Voice Media — after a string of sickening sexploitation cases involving the site, including one that unfolded in federal court in Boston this week. Michael Gemma of Mattapan, Ma., was hit with a federal pimping rap, accused of posting racy pics of an underage call girl on Backpage.com and taking her to turn tricks in New York and New Jersey. In Iowa yesterday, federal authorities accused a New Jersey man known as “Victorious P” of pimping out girls as young as 17 across a dozen states through the site. Detroit police have been investigating the deaths of three women who had placed sex ads on Backpage.com. Backpage attorney Liz McDougall said the site is cooperating with cops and anti-prostitution groups but will not take down sex ads.