Tony Ortega & Backpage: Self-Described “Extremists”

When the story of the Backpage, owned and operated by Tony Ortega’s beloved former employers, is finally written it will be a harrowing tale. And it’s likely to come with an NC-17 rating.

The sordid legacy of the world’s one-time leading human trafficking website is not for the change of heart. Its stomach-turning history is one of continued victimization and the selling of underage girls for sex. That Tony Ortega would sellout whatever shred of professional credentials he had left to shill for Backpage may come as no surprise, but the mere fact that this enterprise was allowed to do business in an America is nothing short of a national disgrace.

Today we received breaking news of yet another Backpage-related conviction, this time out of Concord New Hampshire where a man has been sentenced to federal prison for running a prostitution ring out of three of his massage parlors, all advertised on Backpage, where clients were offered sexual services in exchange for money.

Starting in March of 2015, investigators conducted surveillance on Ken Duc Ma, 60, when they noticed his businesses were exclusively frequented by men, some of whom were known to authorities as ‘Backpage regulars’.

Investigators began to approach the men and ask what kind of services they received, and the men told investigators they paid for sexual services.

In November, authorities raided those businesses and  seized roughly 11 boxes of white sheets used to cover massage tables and plastic bags containing more than 1,000 condoms. They also seized large amounts of cash, most of which was wrapped in newspaper and hidden behind a wall.

We can’t help wondering if supporting prostitution rings isn’t exactly what Tony Ortega had in mind when he said acting in his former roll as obedient lapdog Backpage defender, “Backpage exists solely so that people can freely express themselves—sometimes in ways that make other people uncomfortable. We’re First Amendment extremists that way. Always have been.”  

Really, it exists solely so that people can freely express themselves? Because we’re pretty sure it only existed to make a buck selling sex for advertising revenue.  And conviction after conviction of Backpage pimps only seems to make that clearer.

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