Woman sex trafficked by ‘Facebook friend’ sues social media platform


A Texas woman, who claims that she was raped, beaten and sex trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who posed as a Facebook “friend,” has filed a suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform.

The woman, only identified as as Jane Doe in court papers filed in Harris County District Court in Houston on Monday, also named as defendants the now-shuttered classified ads website Backpage.com and its founders.

Attorneys for Backpage.com and the former employees named in the lawsuit as defendants also did not return calls for comment. According to the lawsuit, the woman was “friended” on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know several of her real-life friends. The man messaged her through Facebook, according to the lawsuit, which was seen by Reuters.

According to the lawsuit filed, after an argument with her mother, she sought the trafficker for consolation. However after he picked her up from her house, he beat and raped her and then took pictures that were posted on Backstage.com. Additionally, Facebook did not do enough to verify the user’s identity, which was apparently false and that Jane Doe was never warned that sex traffickers were operating on the social media network.

The plaintiff’s attorneys have made no comment about the allegations.┬áBackpage.com was shut down by authorities earlier this year after a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the website was used primarily to sell sex.

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