Four bodies burned to death in car trunks, all tentatively identified. One city-Detroit. Two days-December 19 and 25, 2011. Three of the women were traced to ads on “prearranged adult dating services” on BackPage.com, according to a statement from Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee at a Monday afternoon news conference. Apparently, someone is carrying out a vendetta against women in the escort services, aka ads for sexual services. The women’s ages are stated to be 23, 24, 28, and 29.
Overt or covert online ads for sexual services are used in outrageously growing numbers, both by the solicitors of sex or their pimps, and the customers looking for a “good time”. Sometimes, the subjects of the adult or personals sections are far from adults, and are in reality children of 12 or 14 years. Last year, Craig’s List shut down their adult internet section after a concerted attack by several state attorneys general decrying the site as a hothouse for child sex trafficking. Currently, Backpage.com is getting similar heat.
Commercial sexual exploitation of minors, also known as child sex slavery or forced prostitution of children, is a $32 billion criminal enterprise annually. Pleasure seeking johns are looking for younger and younger victims, due in part to combined factors of increased and easy access to child pornography, early sexualization of children, and addictive cocaine-like brain chemicals that drive the perpetrator of child sex to greater thrills.
Current examples of children being advertised for rape-for-profit include:
- November 22, 2011. A New Zealand man was convicted of unlawful sex with a 12 year old and producing videos of the encounter. She was listed on an adult ad as 18.
- September 2010. A victim of child sex trafficking at 14 sued Village Voice media (Backpage.com) for knowingly letting her pimp advertise her for sale on their site.
- Welcome to safe house las vegas teen prostitutes is a site totally dedicated to pictures and descriptions of girls for sale. No ages are given but the page title presumes customers are looking for underage girls.
- A former child sex trafficking victim in Phoenix verifies that she was listed on Craig’s List at 16 by her pimp.
- The Phoenix vice squad spends more time scouring the internet for underage sex ads than patrolling the streets looking for the victims.
Little children are being sold for sex every day in every neighborhood. StreetLight USA is leading the fight for awareness and action against this horrendous form of child sexual abuse.