Without Tony Ortega

It’s interesting sometimes to note how with the trial against the crime syndicate that ran Backpage once more in the headlines, other folks have started refocusing their examination of the problem as well. Take for example the Justice Department, which just held a “summit” on Tuesday of this week, where officials touted convictions of a record 526 defendants in trafficking cases including Backpage.com.

While we’ve celebrated ourselves here on the blog the government’s having taken down the infamous sex ring Tony Ortega brazenly shilled for during his tenure as its chief propagandist, we know only too well that more needs to be done to curtail the global practice of sex trafficking.

As Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen told the “summit “We need more innovative strategies to detect [human trafficking] it so that we can stop it.”

In his speech Rosen said human trafficking overlaps with other crimes, including drug trafficking, gang crimes, money laundering, and human smuggling. He said trafficking “is hidden in a very wide range of settings, from local and transnational commercial sex enterprises, to sweatshops and fields across the U.S., all the way to global supply chains of major multinational corporations.”

But perhaps most tellingly, Rosen noted “we cannot prosecute our way out of this problem, the fact is that a human trafficker who remains at large can and will find other victims.”

Which brings us back to the to topic at hand. The start of the trial to convict James Larkin and Michael Lacey of running the internet’s leading source of prostitution-related advertisements that resulted in the sex trafficking of children and adults.

With Tony Ortega having seemingly lost the power of speech to defend the sex-ring scheme he once bent over backwards to convince us was secretly a First Amendment champion being unjustly victimized by authorities, Larkin and Lacey will have their work cut out for them.

Without Tony Ortega who will angrily berate the child welfare advocates? Without Ortega who will knowingly lie, cover-up and otherwise con the general public on Backpage’s behalf? Without Tony Ortega who will serve as the fat face of Backpage’s soulless hypocrisy?

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