Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Nicholas Kristof writes in the NY Times that Goldman Sachs in one of the owners of Backpage.com America’s leading web site for prostitution ads and the biggest forum for sex trafficking of girls, some under age or forced into prostitution, holding a 16 percent stake in the company. “We had no influence over operations,” responded Goldman Sach spokeswoman Andrea Raphael when Kristoff began inquiring about its stake as Goldman began working frantically to unload its shares. Although there's no doubt that many escort ads on Backpage are placed by consenting adults, it’s equally clear that Backpage, with 70 percent of the market for prostitution ads, plays a major role in the trafficking of minors or women who are coerced into prostitution. "In one recent case in New York City," writes Kristof, "prosecutors say that a 15-year-old girl was drugged, tied up, raped and sold to johns through Backpage and other sites." In Washington State, the governor recently signed a bill into law that could expose Backpage to criminal sanctions if it advertises under-age girls for sex without verifying their ages and 19 US. senators have written the company asking it to stop abetting traffickers. "For more than six years Goldman has held a significant stake in a company notorious for ties to sex trafficking, and it sat on the company’s board for four of those years," writes Kristof. "After so many years of girls being trafficked on this site, it’s time to hold owners accountable.""
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