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Suthers Demands Website Drops Sex Service Ads

DENVER (CBS4) – A war of words has developed after a child prostitution ring investigation.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers used the case to demand a website stop posting ads for sexual services.

In August nearly all the attorneys general in the United States signed a letter saying they are concerned about human trafficking and called a website owned by Village Voice Media, a hub for such activity.

It’s called Its sex-related ads are reported to generate millions of dollars a year in revenue for Village Voice Media, its parent company.

“We hope that instances like this will continue to apply more public pressure to them to frankly get out of this kind of business,” Suthers said.

Village Voice Media’s attorney, Steve Suskin, shot back in a letter to Suthers.

“We respectfully disagree with the idea put forth by Attorney General John Suthers that taking down Internet pages will help to prevent these crimes,” Suskin said in the letter.

Suskin claims it turned over more than 700 pages of evidence on the case in response to a Lakewood police subpoena. That department is quite familiar with the website.

“I can tell you that we get a lot of arrests. We issues a lot of summonses from those on ads on Backpage,” Steve Davis with Lakewood police said.

Craigslist caved in to pressure and removed its erotic services ads, but Village Voice Media is not backing down, according to the letter from its lawyer.

First Amendment attorney Tom Kelley, who does not represent, says they have protection under the Constitution and through communication laws.

“Unless it can be shown that the criminal activity is so blatantly advertised that denial of knowledge of what is going on is just implausible, unbelievable,” Kelley said.

The outcry against is exhibited on a website not so politely called Village Voice Pimps, where the Colorado child sex ring case is prominently mentioned.

Suskin declined to speak on camera but noted that 100 different ads related to the alleged child sex ring also appeared on 15 other websites.

It’s just the latest case in which was cited as a source for ads that turned out to be for child prostitution.

RELATED: 4 Charged In Alleged Child-Prostitute Ring In Colorado

  • meriley

    child prostitution is a truly deplorable crime and one that the criminals participating should be punished to the full extent of the law. However, thinking that restricting backpage will make any difference whatsoever is naive. It will make not one iota of difference. Our Attorney Generals are looking for an easy out to pay lip service to their supposed efforts. They need to get off their ample behinds and expend some energy investigating leads, uncovering crimes and prosecuting them. I think using stealth and looking through sites like backpage should help the investigative efforts. Shutting down 1 site is the height of laziness

  • denvervet

    I still cannot believe that I read stuff like this in this country. The hell with freedom of speech in this case. Why did they go public with this information? Jerks. Someone should have investigated it and made arrests, what’s wrong with people? Now all other sick places like this are on their guard. Idiots! Sometimes people just don’t think things through.

  • Lance

    Prostitution is just another “morally questionable” activity like recreational marijuana smoking that would be better off being made legal and regulated, not unlike other countries or even Nevada.
    If prostitutes had to be licensed, and had to get a new “clean card” (STI/STD) every 3 months, and had to pay taxes to the state, and obviously had to be 18 or 21 to get such a card, then any f the other “illegal activity” such as the child prostitution would be easier to spot by both the advertising media and the police. The advertisers could require a license number to be posted in each ad, and if it’s not current in the system, don’t post the ad.
    I’m pretty sure they won’t take an ad from a marijuana shop that is unlicensed, but maybe they don’t check either.
    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not for child prostitution at all, the adults running it should be thrown in jail for life, but once you are a consenting adult, regulating free speech and commerce (the oldest profession) should be up to the adults.

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