Two people are accused of using the controversial website Backpage.com to pimp out a 15-year-old Arizona girl for child prostitution, reports ABC15 News.
Chad Walker reportedly forced the teenage girl into child prostitution for several months after she ran away from home to be with him. The girl claims Walker set up an ad on Backpage.com and made her schedule sexual appointments with men in different hotel rooms in Maricopa and Pinal counties. He would then collect the money outside the room after the encounters were over. Walker is also accused of sexually assaulting the girl multiple times.
Walker's child prostitution scheme finally ended when a hotel employee noticed him beating her. Walker allegedly drove off before police could arrive but was later arrested after police discovered documented evidence of his operation during a search warrant. Another suspect, Fatima Said, was also arrested on child prostitution charges, but the details of her involvement were not released.
Walker is not the first person accused of using Backpage.com for child prostitution. The Valley company that owns the site, Village Voice Media, is under national pressure to shut down its adult section.
Backpage.com reportedly told ABC15 that they typically identify more than 400 "adult service" posts every month that may involve minors.
"You can buy a toaster or a car or a girl for sex," said Dr. Katharine Henderson, an advocate against the site.
Both Walker and Said face several years in prison if they are charged and convicted for such crimes as pandering and receiving earnings from prostitution. The fact that the girl was a minor will serve to increase their sentence if convicted.
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