Missouri attorney general is investigating website linked to sex trafficking. Now they’re suing him.


 A website called Backpage is considered by authorities to be an online brothel. And they are suing Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley who’s trying to investigate the website for its alleged role in sex trafficking. A U.S. Senate report in January contends that the site is involved in 73 percent of all child trafficking reports received from the National Center for Exploited Children.

Missouri’s top law enforcement official on Tuesday asked a court to dismiss a Backpage.com lawsuit that seeks to stop him from investigating the company, calling it “totally frivolous.”

Backpage sued Attorney General Josh Hawley last month over his investigation, arguing federal law and the First Amendment bar claims against the Dallas-headquartered website, which hosts classified ads from around the world.

Hawley’s office filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it has evidence undermining Backpage’s claim that it doesn’t play a role in the sex-related ads posted on its website and that Hawley should be allowed to continue investigating. Hawley’s office is investigating the company for potential violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, which prohibits deceptive or misrepresentative business practices.

Hawley, a Republican, is considered a potential U.S. Senate candidate in 2018 against pro-abortion Claire McCaskill.

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