Tony Ortega’s Failed Rhetoric Loses In Court, Results in De Facto Life Sentence For Backpage Pimp

Barry Schiff

If it’s one thing we believe in here at the blog, it’s that tougher sentencing for those who coerced, threatened or tricked young women and underage girls into participating in the Backpage sex trafficking ring should be the rule, rather than the exception.

Maybe that’s why this story we read over the weekend restored a measure of hope to us that Backpage pimps, and their editorializing apologists like Tony Ortega, are increasingly finding judges taking a zero tolerance approach when it comes to Backpage’s illegal sex trade. 

Barry “Bear” Schiff, age 53, was an avid consumer of and advertiser on Backpage.  He was, however, far from the ‘consenting adult in search of meaningful connection’ Tony Ortega ruthless and recklessly tried to convince the nation were the ones the platform had been designed for from the beginning.  

He was a pimp who used violence, threats and heroin addiction to force marginalized women to prostitute themselves. In other words, Barry “Bear” Schiff was exactly the kind of person Backpage was designed for, regardless of what Tony Ortega might argue.

The good news here, of course, is that the court shut down attempts to portray the defendant’s case as being one of ‘First Amendment Rights’ or ‘freedom of personal choice’. 

Underscoring that Tony Ortega’s failed rhetoric cannot and will not prevail in the court of law, the judge handed Schiff a de facto life sentence for the sum total of his crimes.

Schiff was ordered to spend 141 years in state prison for coercing 10 women into prostitution, holding them hostage, forcing them to sell their bodies and making them turn over their earnings.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office prosecuted Schiff, noted in a press release that Schiff deliberately preyed on marginalized young women and girls, who “endured dehumanizing exploitation by countless people.”

In reading responses to this case we have seen how a majority of Americans seem to agree with the precedent setting sentence imposed on this Backpage pimp and remain unanimous in their rejection of Tony Ortega’s deplorable defense of the contemptibly indefensible.

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