Another life connected to Tony Ortega’s Backpage propaganda ends in despair, as so many do – Part I

Yet another bombshell case against Tony Ortega’s former employer, the infamous sex trafficking website Backpage comes to light this week.

This case involves an unnamed plaintiff known only as ‘K.R.’ She claims that Backpage directly violated the Code of Alabama §13A-6-151, and makes claims for violation of Alabama’s human trafficking statute, outrage, negligence and wantonness, and unjust enrichment against Backpage.

In early 2013, K.R. turned seventeen (17) years old. Around that time, she ran away from her home in Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi with very little money. As K.R was walking down a busy street a known repeat user of the Backpage’s services named Alonso saw her and stopped his vehicle to convince her that he could help her. She was tired, scared, hungry and needed a ride so she agreed to get in the vehicle with him.

Alonso drove K.R. to a motel and where she met two other women who were traveling with Defendant Alonso. He drove K.R. and the two women to Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, where they remained for several weeks while he groomed her for sex trafficking and provided her with drugs in order to assist in his efforts to gain control over her. While they were in Memphis, Alonso began trafficking her by forcing K.R. to engage in sex acts for pay and threatening her with physical violence if she refused. He took her phone from her and beat her for refusing to follow his instructions.

After several weeks, Defendant Alonso, who carried a hammer as a weapon to threaten K.R. and other women, drove K.R. and one of the other women to a hotel in Houston County, Alabama where Alonso paid cash to reserve two rooms — one for him and one to use for sex trafficking K.R.

It was here Alonso took photographs of K.R. and posted them in advertisements on the Backpage website. Alonso then sold K.R. to customers for approximately eighty dollars ($80.00) for fifteen (15) minutes of sex with a child and approximately one hundred dollars ($100.00) for thirty (30) minutes sex with a child.

As difficult as they are, these chilling stories of real children victimized for profit by the Backpage need to be heard if the men behind them, the men who created and defended this platform, are to be brought to justice.

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