Yesterday, we said, “Enough.” Yesterday, for the first time in more than 20 years, the Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution I introduced with Republican Senator Rob Portman to authorize contempt proceedings against Backpage – a website that has admitted that the sex trafficking of children occurs on its site.
In November, Senator Portman and I led a hearing to target online sex trafficking, and we demanded answers from Backpage. Their CEO, Carl Ferrer, refused to obey a subpoena that required his attendance. But what we did hear was the story of a 15-year-old girl, who walked into Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis and asked for help. She, along with four other girls between the ages of 12 and 18, had been sold for sex at truck stops for almost two months. And she, along with countless other young girls and boys, had been trafficked on Backpage.
Our investigation is a valid one. Our investigation is an important one. And our investigation will not stop until we have the answers we need.
It is important to remember that little girl at Cardinal Glennon, and it is important to remember all of the others who haven’t escaped. With this vote, we are going to court so that we can find out what role, if any, Backpage policies and procedures play in allowing the illegal and immoral practice of trafficking children for sex to occur.
To learn more about my work curbing sexual and domestic violence, visit mccaskill.senate.gov/violence.
Thank you for being a part of this fight.