The Source

Senate Subcommittee Continues Investigation into Online Sex Trafficking

On January 10, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing, “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking.” The hearing and accompanying report is the latest effort by the committee to investigate Backpage.com and its role in facilitating sex trafficking through the use of online advertisements (see The Source, 3/18/16 and 11/20/15).

During the hearing, the witnesses from Backpage.com declined to respond to questions, invoking their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The following witnesses appeared:

  • Carl Ferrer, chief executive officer, Backpage.com;
  • Michael Lacey, founder, Backpage.com;
  • James Larkin, co-founder, Backpage.com;
  • Elizabeth McDougall, general counsel, Backpage.com; and
  • Andrew Padilla, chief operations officer, Backpage.com.

The following witnesses testified: