Update: Attorneys turn up the heat on Backpage, child sex trade

Aug 31, 2011

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and 45 other attorneys general today called for information about how Backpage.com presumably attempts to remove advertising for sex trafficking, especially ads that could involve minors.

Meanwhile, Snohomish County has received a $450,000 federal grant to combat child sex trafficking.

The attorneys general said in a letter to Backpage.com on Wednesday that hundreds of ads on the website are for prostitution. The letter says the site attracts people who seek to exploit minors.

State leaders want Backpage.com to prove that it is monitoring the site to prevent illegal activity. They are asking the company to willingly provide information in lieu of a subpoena.

Craigslist closed its adult services section last year after attorneys general and others raised concerns it could not effectively screen out illegal ads.

For Snohomish, The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle provided the Community Oriented Policing grant to enable the county prosecutor and sheriff there to build a team that will target people who profit from child sexual abuse.

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