Sex trafficking victims suing classifieds site

Backpage.com, a classified ads website. (Photo by Bill Tomison, WPRI-TV)

BOSTON (AP) — Two alleged victims of underage sex trafficking in Massachusetts have filed a lawsuit against a website that carries personal ads for people looking for sex, alleging the company assists in the abuse of minors.

The complaint against Backpage.com, filed in federal court in Boston, says the plaintiffs were sold for sex in Massachusetts and Rhode Island more than 1,900 times combined when they were from 15 to 17 years old.

The plaintiffs are listed only as Jane Doe No. 1 and No. 2, and are now 17 and 20 years old.

The lawsuit alleges Backpage aided the exploitation of minors.

Elizabeth McDougall, Backpage’s general counsel, tells The Boston Globe the company “vigorously” disputes the allegations and does more than any other online classified site to prevent the trafficking of minors.

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