Backpage.com is facing an increased threat of legal action by former customers of the website as part of a lawsuit filed by a former employee.
The lawsuit alleges that Backpage was violating federal privacy laws by knowingly facilitating sex trafficking and child sex trafficking for at least 10 years, including between 2015 and 2017.
In a court filing, a former employees attorney, John C. Schiller, accused Backpage of “grossly and repeatedly” violating federal law and civil rights.
Schiller alleged that the company “frequently sold sex and child pornography on its website, provided escort services to children and paid them millions of dollars to engage in sexual acts.”
Backpage, which has been the subject of several lawsuits in recent years, declined to comment on the suit.
But the company’s CEO, Tony Hsieh, said in a statement to The Associated Press that the site was “in the midst of a very difficult period” in its history and would continue to aggressively protect its customers’ privacy.