. - The CEO of classified ads website Backpage.com pleading guilty this week to conspiracy, money laundering, and facilitating prostitution.
The judge ordering the site shut down. We spoke with a local attorney representing a teen targeted by that site. Birmingham attorney Gregory Zarzaur says the news of the shutdown is a clear move in the right direction.
Zarzaur is representing a runaway teen who he says found herself at the mercy of a pimp who advertised her Backpage.com. Zarzaur says that teen was sold for sex to men out of a motel in Dothan. Zarzaur filed the lawsuit in 2017. He says this week the legal process finally exposed Backpage and he hopes it will allow more human trafficking victims to come forward.
"By the strength of other survivors that have brought the fight to Backpage.com and others that have enabled sex trafficking that they too will see that they have rights and that the legal process will work," Zarzaur said.
Earlier this week, President Trump signed a bill that gives federal and state investigators more power to go after sites that host sex-trafficking ads. The bill also allows states to file lawsuits against those websites.