The FBI has raided the owners of Backpage.com and shut them down under the new law. Craigslist has taken down the personal sections like Casual Encounters. Escort sites are next on the target list to be shut down. Prostitution is going to be forced back onto the streets. My prediction is that this new law is going to backfire and make it more difficult for law enforcement to identify people who commit sex trafficking with children. Backpage.com was the number one source used by law enforcement to target human traffickers. Casual Encounters on Craigslist was the number one site used by undercover police chatters trying to identify pedophiles. The new statute is going to make it more difficult to enforce existing laws. Where will the millions of prostitutes go now?
The solution or at least a great first step in solving human trafficking would have been to legalize prostitution. It is already legal is some locations. The answer is reasonable regulation, not banning the worlds oldest profession. Prostitution has been with us throughout all of recorded history. The new law will bring back the era of the pimp. It will put women back in bars and back walking the streets. The better solution would be legalized and regulated houses for prostitution and have the prostitutes get regular medical exams, and provide a safe place for consensual sex.
There is a huge problem with the new law. It provides Ex Post Facto punishment. The new law specifically states that it shall apply regardless of whether the conduct alleged occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, before, on, or after such date of enactment. In other words, it purports to make something a crime, even if it occurred before the law was passed. That can never hold up constitutionally. The Feds are now in the business of enforcing prostitution laws. As a sex crime lawyer and an ex Federal Prosecutor and ex Federal Agent, I see the writing on the wall. This is similar to prohibition and we all know how that ended. Federal authorities are going to have a field day going after escort sites. Prostitution will be forced back into the shadows and in the long run, this will be worse for women. This is just another misguided law by misguided legislators.
Let me hear your comments.