Postponing Inevitable Can’t Save Backpage Bosses

In news breaking yesterday, it’s being reported that sentencing has been postponed until July 2020 for two managers convicted in cases that accuse the site of turning a blind eye to the rampant sex trafficking their online classified platform facilitated. Prosecutors intend to clearly demonstrate through key witnesses and damning internal company emails and chats that the top bosses at Backpage were aware that young women and girls as young as 8 were being sold for sex on their site.

The State also intends to prove that the business model the architects of Backpage built was, from the beginning, dependent upon these very crimes in order to make a fast profit.

CEO Carl Ferrer had pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge in Arizona. And has flipped on his former partners, James Larkin and Michael Lacey.

Ferrer acknowledged knowing a majority of Backpage’s revenues came from escort ads and conspiring to sanitize ads by removing photos and words that were indicative of prostitution and publishing a revised version of the notices. He states that it was common knowledge among all the managers at Backpage that this practice was intended to make it appear as if the company were taking steps to combat sex trafficking while continuing to actively encourage pimps to buy more advertising in order to sell young women and children.

Sales and marketing director Dan Hyer pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate prostitution in a scheme to give free ads to prostitutes to draw them away from competitors.

So far, six others affiliated with Backpage, including founders Lacey and Larkin, are scheduled for trial in May 2020.

We here at the blog remain committed to the hope that this number will rise as stories about the heinous crimes committed using Backpage continue to put pressure on prosecutors to demand justice for the victims of the systematic abuse Backpage and its pimps and henchmen.

As of this writing, Lacey, Larkin and the other half dozen Backpage crime family members absurdly continue to plead not guilty. (While we here at the blog continue to marvel at the fact they can do so with straight faces!)

The scope of the government’s case against Backpage seems to be broadening by the day. It may only be a matter of time until they start indicting the lowest of the low-ranking Backpage conspiracists like Tony Ortega, who rabidly attacked anyone in the press who would write stories critical of Backpage’s glaringly immoral business practices.

Time is not on your side Tony Ortega. As pressure for justice mounts we won’t let them forget your name or the pathetic role you played as propagandistic mouth piece for your sex trafficker bosses.

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