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

We read yesterday about the story of K.R. and how at the hands of a longtime Backpage user known as ‘Alonso’ she was trafficked and sold repeatedly for sex. In her suit in Alabama K.R. alleged she was consistently threatened, physically abused and forced her to take intoxicating agents including illegal drugs and alcohol.

From May 28, 2013, until approximately August 8, 2013, Alonso reserved rooms on thirty-seven (37) different nights in various hotels to carry out the sex trafficking venture Backpage had made possible.

During Alonso’s stay at these hotels, approximately ten or more men visited Alonso’s room every day to have sex with K.R. and/or the other women victimized by the human trafficking venture.

The employees and staff of the hotel knew or should have known that numerous men were visiting Alonso’s room and knew or should have known that K.R. was being subjected to sex trafficking, but they took no steps to stop the criminal activity. Backpage knew or should have known what Alonso’s intentions were based on his history of posting on their site. They also took no action to stop this nor did they report the situation to law enforcement.

Too often we’ve seen how stories involving Backpage have tragic endings. However, in this case there was a rare reprieve from the litany of human suffering caused by the men behind this evil enterprise.

On or about August 7, 2013, K.R. escaped the motel room while Alonso was asleep. She had no money and no cellular telephone. Fearing for her life she fled a number of miles until she was able to obtain assistance from a stranger who notified authorities of Alonso’s crimes.

On August 8, 2013, K.R. reported to the Dothan Police Department and the Child Advocacy Center that Defendant Alonso had assaulted her and forced her to have sex with men for money and to ingest illegal drugs.

The Dothan Police Department arrested Defendant Alonso and seized drugs, cellular phones, and two thousand dollars in his possession. Defendant Alonso was convicted of (1) first-degree human trafficking under Ala. Code §13A-6-152(a), and (2) selling, furnishing, or giving a controlled substance to a minor under Ala. Code §13A-12-25, among other crimes.

The court case now underway in Alabama is trying to answer the question of just how much culpability Backpage shares in what befell K.R. Indeed, those of us who have been following these and other stories involving Backpage and its cruel, profit-driven indifference to the many girls and young women like K.R. it helped traffic may be forgiven for feeling we already know that answer.

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