No Defense Against Truth

Since we began covering the insidious history of Backpage we’ve been witness to an unprecedented barrage of lawsuits levied against pimps and those who enabled them.

While we continue to hold out hope that these lawsuits may yet extend further down the corporate chain to include the Backpage bottom-feeders like would-be propagandist Tony Ortega, for the moment it is joy enough seeing so many who participated in this child sex ring syndicate bring brought to justice.

In what looks to be a new chapter in Backpage lawsuits, victims have now begun legal proceedings against the hotels which, like the Tony Ortega and his pals behind the Backpage crime syndicate, willfully turned a blind eye to the crimes they were helping to facilitate.

This past week in Houston, TX a young woman (who has asked to remain unnamed) brought just such a suit to national attention.

She was only 15 years old when she was first lured by Backpage sex traffickers. In her own words she described herself to the court this way: “Before everything happened, I was a normal teenager. I played sports and I got A’s and B’s in school.”

But all that changed when she met a friend at school who introduced her to a sex trafficker using the Backpage website to sell underage girls for sex. Her life took a drastic turn when her Backpage pimp dropped her off at a hotel.

As she explained to the judge overseeing the case: “They just left me there, a man came in the room and he put money on the table and I just put two and two together.”

And this was how it all began. It’s a pattern of predation we’ve seen time and again. Backpage knowingly provided a platform from which pimps could upon young girls. When confronted with suspicions Backpage played dumb — now its top executives are under house arrest, awaiting trial.

As we will see in tomorrow’s continuation of this story, hotels who took their cues from Backpage’s ‘blind-eye’ playbook are poised to face a similar calling to account by federal authorities.  And this young Backpage survivor intends to make clear that feigned ignorance of systematic criminal behavior will be no defense against the truth.

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