Mayor Jorge Elorza as part of the administration’s continued efforts to stop online sex-trafficking though the website Backpage.com has joined a group of cities from across the country to file a brief in the First Circuit Court of Appeals to support a federal lawsuit against Backpage.com.
“Backpage.com is a vehicle for criminal activity, including human-trafficking, which preys on the children and the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Mayor Elorza. “This cannot be allowed to continue. We will bring those who use the site for crime to justice and push for the legal tools to stop Backpage.com at the source.”
Providence Public Safety Officials have experienced first-hand the ease with which Backpage.com facilitates the exploitation of women and children. As part of its ongoing ‘Operation Backpage,’ the Providence Police Department has conducted a series of sting operations resulting in the arrest of forty-two individuals.
Backpage also serves as a vehicle for other criminal activity — most notably and tragically, the homicide of a mother of three who was strangled by a man responding to her ad on Backpage.com.
While the City Solicitor’s Office pursues legal measures against the site itself, the Providence Police Department continues to monitor traffic through the site closely and will continue to bring those who use Backpage.com for criminal activity to justice.