Adult website helps bust local spa prostitution

Published On: Jul 12 2012 07:06:40 PM PDT
Adult website helps bust local spa prostitution
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The website Backpage.com helped cops bust eight Spokane spas, suspected of running prostitution rings out of their businesses.

Fair Girls, an organization based out of Washington D.C., is launching a new campaign to shut down the adult section of the website.

Child welfare groups say that many underagers are placed on this site by their pimps. Fair Girls hopes this campaign sheds light on the exploitation of young girls.



Part of that campaign is a video based on the experiences of a 13-year-old girl who was sold for sex on Backpage.com.

Asia Graves was once sold on this site by her former pimp. Years later she's fighting back against the site, the same site police say was used to pimp out girls working in the Spokane massage parlors.

"You can go online to Backpage.com and buy a toaster, a blender and a sofa and buy a 13-year-old girl," she said.

Graves now works for Fair Girls helping young girls who have been a victims of sex trafficking. By launching this campaign, Graves hopes to shed light on the activities that take place on the website.

"We are hoping that Backpage realizes their errors and shuts down their adult section," Graves said.

Even if people use the popular site to buy a toaster, Graves hopes they navigate somewhere else. "Stop using Backpage don't advertise even if you are going to rent an apartment. Use other sites because they are making all of this money on the backs of small children being sold for sex," she said.

The Washington State Attorney General has been trying to shut down Backpage. Backpage sued the state, trying to keep the ads up. County prosecutors from across the state voiced their support of the AG's office saying they're seeing the victims firsthand - and that a law preventing human trafficking and ads that could be offering sex with minors needs to be enforced.

To find out more information about Fair Girls, visit their website at fairgirls.org. If you have been a victim of sex trafficking and need someone to speak with, please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888.