Three young women who say they were sold online for sex have filed a lawsuit against Backpage.com, claiming the site was used to exploit them and that the owners did nothing to stop it.
The News Tribune reports two of the girls were 13 and one was 15 when they were pimped out. Pierce County court records state one ad promoted one of the girls as the “80 DOLLAR DAY SPECIAL.”
An attorney for Backpage.com says the lawsuit will not stand up in court and is barred by federal law.
Backpage, which is owned by Village Voice Media, makes millions of dollars a year operating an online clearinghouse for escorts.
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Friday to block enforcement of a new Washington state law that would require classified advertising companies to verify the ages of people in sex-related advertisements.
Backpage.com was the main target of the new law.
Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the law this year to cut down on child sex trafficking. The law that had been scheduled to take effect in June received unanimous approval from the Legislature.
The decision issued by U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez is temporary, until the case can be heard in court.
Story compiled by KING 5's Travis Pittman