WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has been pressing to hold the website Backpage.com accountable for its part in enabling online sex trafficking. Now she is celebrating a major victory for the senate.
Heitkamp commended her colleagues for stepping up and voting to launch civil contempt proceedings against Backpage.com. She said the website repeatedly refused to comply with subpoenas and investigative efforts.
Heitkamp said the website is used by perpetrators of human trafficking looking to buy or sell victims. She said law enforcement in her home state of North Dakota has used the site to find and arrest those committing the crimes and to identify and rescue potential victims. It’s an issue Heitkamp cares deeply about.
“It is horrifying to think of what people go through especially what children go through but it is also gratifying to know that we’ve raised awareness that we’ve started talking about this problem,” Heitkamp (D-ND) said.
Heitkamp said it is the first time in more than 20 years the Senate has held anyone in contempt of Congress. She hoped that as a result of this, they would see voluntary compliance from backpage.com.