August 31, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster and 44 other state Attorneys General today called for information about backpage.com’s claimed attempts to remove advertising for sex trafficking, specifically ads that could involve minors.
Attorneys General nationally have identified more than 50 recent cases involving adults accused of advertising or soliciting minors on backpage.com. Koster said his office continues to see backpage.com postings in Missouri that advertise illegal services, including prostitution.
“Prostitution is not a victimless crime, and children are often the targets,” Koster said. “We want to continue working with backpage.com to address the ways they are going to make their site safer for children and other victims.”
In 2008, 42 Attorneys General pressured craigslist to crack down on listings for prostitution, in an effort to reduce crimes like human trafficking. Craigslist ultimately removed its “erotic services” section altogether in May 2009. In September, 2009, 21 attorneys general wrote backpage.com to request that the adult services section be closed.