TACOMA — Three Washington teenagers who said they were sold online for sex have sued the website Backpage.com, accusing the website owners of enabling their exploitation.
The News Tribune of Tacoma reported Sunday that two 13-year-old girls from Pierce County and one 15-year-old from King County sued in Pierce County Superior Court on Friday.
Seattle attorney Liz McDougall, who represents Backpage’s corporate owners, said the lawsuit will not pass legal muster and is barred by federal law. The site is owned by Village Voice Media in New York.
Backpage is a popular online destination for escort services. The lawsuit alleges that photos of the underage girls appeared in numerous ads on the site, paid for by their pimps. It accuses the owners of doing nothing to prevent it.