The move is the latest attempt to pressure Backpage.com, a leading sex-services ad site, to rein in underage prostitution – and it follows a Democratic-led, bipartisan initiative in the 2012 legislative session that yielded a crack-down bill signed into law by Gov. Gregoire. That measure, Senate Bill 6251, makes it a crime for a site operator or publisher to produce an advertisement for a commercial sex act that includes a photograph of a minor. As a legal defense, the operator or publisher may present proof it required a government-issued ID showing the advertiser was at least 18.
That bill was one of several passed by the 2012 Legislature that target the commercial sex industry, including House Bill 2692, sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall of Des Moines. To read more about the package, click here.