High ranking officials in several Stateline law enforcement agencies have signed a letter sent to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other federal officials endorsing and Senator Mark Kirk’s (R-IL) request for prosecution against the website Backpage.com.
The letter (click to read here) claims that Backpage brokers illegal prostitution through the use of online ads which include child sex trafficking.
Backpage recently sued the Sheriff of Cook County over his attempts to stop credit card companies from processing transactions to place ads on Backpage, claiming doing so violated their 1st Amendment Rights. Sheriff Thomas Dart estimated that in one month in 2014, Backpage posted more than $1.4 million adult service ads and made at least $9 million.
In May 2015, Senator Kirk’s ‘Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act‘, was signed into law making it a crime for a someone including the owner of a website to knowingly advertise a commercial sex act with a minor. Backpage is suing the Attorney General’s Office to prevent the enforcement of provisions of that law.
Signees include Rockford Assistant Deputy Chief of Police Douglas Pann, Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana, Rockford Park District Police Theo Glover, Rockton City Police Chief Steve Dickson, Loves Park Police Chief Rodney L Scott, Winnebago Village Police Chief Todd Stockburger, and Rock Valley College Police Chief Joe Drought.