A sex trafficking victim has revealed how a predator used Facebook to lure her away from her family when she was just 15 years old. The woman is now suing Facebook, alleging that the social media giant fails to stop sex trafficking on its platform.
In an interview with 60 Minutes, a 24-year-old woman — who asked to remain anonymous — revealed how ten years ago a sex trafficker sent her a Facebook friend request, promising her a modeling job, only to rape her and then sell her for sex, according to a report by Daily Mail.
The woman recalled receiving a friend request from someone who she thought was her age, but was really a sex trafficker in disguise, using a fake account.
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“I wanted to have all my friends on Facebook,” she said.
The predator ended up grooming the then-15-year-old over Facebook by telling her that she was beautiful, and offered to pay her $2,000 a week to work as a model.
“He waited until I got into an argument with my mother,” the woman recalled. “And I just wanted to go. So I was feeling like the best option was to go make $2,000 being a model.”
The sex trafficker then picked her up at her home, and drove her to a hotel to have what she thought was going to be a photoshoot.
“I was basically like, ‘These are not modeling pictures.’ I was half-naked, I’m in a bra and panties, and I told him, I want to go home, I don’t want to be here,” the woman recalled.
“And as soon as I said that, I got hit,” she added.
The predator raped her and took explicit photos of her, which he posted to Backpage.com, a website that has since been seized by federal law enforcement agencies in 2018, as it had become the nation’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling sex.
Over the course of the next 12 hours, the sex trafficker allowed numerous strangers who responded to the ad on Backpage.com to come to the hotel to rape the underage girl while the predator collected the money, the woman said.
At some point, however, she was able to gain access to her cell phone and call her mother, who immediately alerted police, the report adds.
The report adds that the sex trafficker and another rapist were then arrested at the hotel, and subsequently sentenced to multiple decades in prison.
Now, the woman is suing Facebook, and the case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It’s unbelievable to me, in some ways, its unimaginable,” the woman told 60 Minutes. “I have never thought that I’d be, at 24, suing Facebook.”