Charges against Backpage.com CEO could put dent in local human trafficking

(Minneapolis, October 7) – In Minnesota, a state struggling to fight the flow of human trafficking through its borders, law enforcement and victim advocates are cautiously optimistic that this week’s indictment of Backpage.com owner Carl Ferrer will significantly curb online prostitution.

Ferrer, the CEO of the classified ad website long criticized for its enabling of underage prostitution, was charged in California with multiple felony counts of conspiracy to commit pimping and pimping minors. Prosecutors say that nearly all of the website’s income comes from its “adult” section, which typically features ads with nude photos and offers a menu of sex explained in coded language.

Local efforts have seen varying success at fencing in Backpage. In southwestern Minnesota, an operation involving the website led to 48 arrests around New Ulm and Mankato. >> Read more.