Updated at 4:30p.m., Feb. 10, 2016, to include congressional committee contempt vote - A U.S. Senate committee Wednesday called for contempt proceedings against a website accused of aiding the sex-trafficking trade.
The panel voted unanimously in favor of a resolution from Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Ohio Republican Rob Portman. McCaskill says the two have been conducting a bipartisan investigation of sex-trafficking and want to question officials from Backpage.com. "We have reached an impasse with Backpage. They have refused to come to the hearings. They have refused to present documents." If the resolution is approved by the full Senate, it would mark the first time in more than two decades the chamber has held anyone in contempt of Congress. McCaskill says she helped launch the investigation after a 15-year-old sex-trafficking victim walked into Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis last year and asked for help. Our original story:
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says 71 percent of the child sex trafficking reports it receives involve ads posted to the website Backpage.com.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says that was the case four months ago when a 15-year-old girl walked into St. Louis’ Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital asking for help: “Along with four other girls, between the ages of 12 and 18, she had been sold for sex at truck stops across Missouri, Florida, Texas and New Mexico for almost two months.”