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110715PR-villagevoice

110715PR-villagevoice

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Published by trenchreynolds

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Published by: trenchreynolds on Jul 18, 2011
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07/18/2011

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City
 
of 
 
Seattle
 
Office of the Mayor
 
News
For Immediate Release Contact: Aaron PickusJuly 15, 2011 Tel: (206) 233-2650
Mayor Mike McGinn meets with Village Voice Media to discuss underage sextrafficking
 Asks
 
Backpage.com
 
to
 
 pull 
 
down
 
their 
 
ads
 
until 
 
they 
 
 put 
 
stronger 
 
safeguards
 
in
 
 place
 
SEATTLE– Mayor Mike McGinn, Councilmember Tim Burgess, and Assistant Chief Jim Pugelof the Seattle Police Department met today with representatives of Village Voice Media, whichowns the Seattle Weekly and Backpage.com, to impress upon them the seriousness ofunderage sex trafficking and the need for them to act now.“We specifically asked them to pull down all their adult ads until they have safeguards in placeagainst underage trafficking. That should include a model presenting photo ID in personshowing that they are of legal age, said Mayor Mike McGinn. “They were not prepared to agreeto that request immediately, they indicated that they were taking that request seriously andwould respond within 1-2 weeks. We have made our position clear and we expect them to takethe actions we requested immediately. They need to clean up their act.”Underage sex trafficking is a serious problem in Seattle. A City of Seattle Human ServicesDepartment report published in 2008 estimated there are 300 to 500 children being exploited forcommercial sex each year. In the last 12 months, 185 cases of underage sex trafficking wereidentified in King County.Backpage.com is a well-known accelerant of underage sex trafficking. Since the beginning of2010, 22 children advertised on Backpage.com were recovered by the Seattle PoliceDepartment. No juveniles were discovered on any other sites in that time – that includes ads oncraigslist, The Stranger, and other adult sites. The problem is specific to Backpage.com. TheAim Group estimated that Backpage made $2.1 million in revenue off of erotic services sinceJanuary 2011.# # #

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