Jane Doe #1 Vs Backpage

Harvey Weinstein’s downfall began when the first of his victims began to speak out. The Paul Haggis rape case began when the women he allegedly raped chose to come forward. The MeToo Movement itself only became a force for change as women found the courage to take a stand against their abusers.

Earlier this year in state district court in Harris County, Texas something similar began when a human trafficking survivor, Jane Doe #1, filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against Tony Ortega’s former Backpage employers and the Houston-area hotels and truck stops where she was allegedly exploited, according to her lawyers at Annie McAdams PC and Sico Hoelscher Harris & Braugh LLP.

Her case alleges that Backpage.com and several national hotel and truck stop companies benefited from her sexual exploitation in violation of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 98, an anti-trafficking law passed in 2009.

According to the petition:

“Sex trafficking of minors has exploded in the last decade as a result of the internet marketplace of sexual assault and sexual exploitation created by the Backpage defendants… The truck stop defendants knowingly benefited from the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Jane Doe #1 as well as the sexual exploitation of other children… Human trafficking and the sexual exploitation is a rampant and known problem in the hotel industry.”

The lawsuit alleges the survivor began to be exploited as a 15-year-old in 2014 and 2015 at defendant’s Houston-area hotels and truck stops through the use of “sanitized” Backpage ads that “conceal child human trafficking.”

Like the dark chapters of sexual violence Weinstein and Haggis read into our national conversation on abuse, this new court case against Backpage may soon bring similar recognition to men like Ortega who for too long have gotten away scott-free.

We’re watching this bellwether case closely and will keep you updated.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.