October 20 2015

AG Healey Pushing for Case Against Backpage, Website Allegedly Used in Burlington Murder

By: Rich Hosford

Massachusetts’ top law enforcement office is continuing its push against a website that was allegedly used by two men charged with murder in Burlington. 


Attorney General Maura Healey filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit urging the court to reverse a district court decision dismissing a case filed by human trafficking victims against Backpage.com, a release states


The case, Doe v. Backpage.com LLC, was filed by three women who allege that they were sold for sex on Backpage.com when they were as young as 15 years old. The plaintiffs allege that they were recruited by sex traffickers, advertised on the website, and then repeatedly sold for sex in various locations across Massachusetts.


“Human trafficking is a form of criminal enterprise in which women and girls in particular, but also men and boys, are exploited for labor and commercial sex. It is a widespread and urgent problem in Massachusetts and throughout the country,” AG Healey’s brief explains.


In July Healey issued a statement calling on Backpage.com to delete the “adult” section of its website. The section includes an “escort” section where people advertise in-person services. That statement came a day after it was reported that Epshod Jeune and Derrell Fisher, the two accused of murdering Sanisha Johnson in the Extended Stay America hotel, contacted the victim through the “escort” section of the site. They are also accused of assaulting and robbing another woman, also contacted through the site, at the Red Roof Inn in Woburn. 


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