The federal government is taking action to shut down online trafficking operations.
Two years ago, the Justice Department shut down Backpage.com, which at the time was the leading online facilitator for online prostitution and trafficking of adults and children.
Officials have now used the 2017 Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, known as FOSTA, to indict the owner of CityXGuide.
Dani Pinter, an attorney with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, says she is pleased.
“The owner who has guided CityXGuide, which is the site and company that was recently seized by the DOJ, in the indictment it says that he actually claimed that his web sites were taking off where Backpage left off."
So the owner, Wilham Martono, groomed his sites “to be the leading advertisement for prostitution and trafficking in America," Pinter alleges.
Martono is facing various charges including racketeering and money laundering. His operation was not the only one, and Pinter calls it the “frontrunner” for other dangerous operations.
Martono allegedly made $21 million from the site. The youngest girl allegedly sold by the trafficking facilitator was 13 years old.
“It’s really exciting to see that the DOJ is using FOSTA,” Pinta concludes, “that it's going after these sites, and it shows us that changes are really happening.”