Police Use Public Shame Of Johns To Fight Human Trafficking

Backpage Ads

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – What's on Backpage.com is so filthy, you want to take a shower after looking at it.

"It's the most commonly used platform in terms of advertising sex, prostitution," a Winston-Salem undercover detective said.

So why then in the sea of smut is he posting from police? The ad in the escorts section warns the department "is taking enforcement action" And that if you get caught, your wife, kids, boss are going find out. The ad says following an arrest, "this information will be provided to the media: Name, home address, employment, exact charge, booking photograph"

"These johns are often married. Some of them are in very prestigious lines of work. Something like this to most people would be a significantly embarrassing thing to have exposed in your life. That's probably one of the stronger determinants,” the detective said.

All of this effort because of another line in the ad: "We have identified both minors and adults trafficked by ads posted on this site."

Rachel Parker with World Relief says she's helped rescue women on the site who were forced into
providing sex.

"Either because their family members or being threatened or they've been treated badly for so long, their brains are trained to think that's the only option. It's horrific. Especially when it comes to kids," Parker said.

The group No Child Trafficked put an ad on Backpage.com as a test. The model in the ad was made to look like an underage girl. Over 2 weeks, 174 calls came in from the 336 area code. 86 from 704. And 14 from 919.

That's why police will keep posting to try and turn off the flow of people buying prostitutes online. 

Also 2 Wants To Know reached out to Backpage.com several times. We haven't heard back. But a spokesperson told another CBS station, the charges against the site and the owner are "Trumped up."
 

To see more investigations like this follow 2 Wants To Know's Ben Briscoe on social media:

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