A texas lady, claiming that she was raped, crushed and sex trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who display as a Facebook “friend,” has filed suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform.
The woman, identified only as jane doe in court papers filed in Harris County District Court in Houston on Monday, additionally named as defendants the now-shuttered classified ads web site Backpage.com and its founders.
Facebook failed to answer a request by Reuters for comment.
Attorneys for Backpage.com also former workers named in the lawsuit as defendants also failed to return calls for comment.
According to the lawsuit, the girl was “friended” on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know many of her real-life friends. the person messaged her through Facebook, according to the lawsuit, that was seen by Reuters.
The lawsuit alleges that at one point following an argument along with her mother, the trafficker offered to console her, however after picking her up from her home he beat and raped her and took pictures that were posted on Backpage.com.
The lawsuit says Facebook failed to do enough to verify the user’s identity, that the lawsuit said was false, and that jane doe was never warned that sex traffickers were operational on the social media network.
The plaintiff’s attorneys, David Harris and Louie Cook of the business firm Sico Hoelscher Harris LLP in Houston, failed to reply to requests for comment.Backpage.com was shut down by authorities earlier this year once a justice department investigation into allegations that the web site was used primarily to sell sex.