Another pimp has been busted for prostituting a minor on Backpage.
Rowy De Jesus Vasquez, aka “Weezy,” has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl.
The 26-year-old Florida man faces up to 10 years in federal prison for engaging in a scheme to financially gain from placing advertisements for prostitution services on the Backpage website.
Vasquez began sex trafficking the young girl (referred to only as “K.C.” in court documents), on or about April 24, 2015, and continued through on or about June 10, 2015 in Orange and Seminole Counties, Florida. He set the prices for the various sexual acts and kept all of the proceeds for himself.
The indictment charges that “the defendant herein, aided and abetted by individuals known and unknown to the Grand Jury, in and affecting interstate commerce did knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, and maintain by any means a person, that is K.C., and did benefit financially and by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture engaged in such acts, while knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that K.C. had not attained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act.”
Breitbart Texas reported on October 17 that a Texas woman, Nancy Cisneros, was charged with three counts of compelling prostitution, and three counts for trafficking a child. Court documents say she pimped a 16-year-old girl by posting advertisements for escort services on Backpage.com. Her crimes go back to late June 2015 say government officials.
As reported by Breitbart Texas on October 6, the attorneys general for Texas and California engaged in a joint investigation into activities on the website. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made the highest-profile human trafficking bust in the Lone Star State’s history. Paxton said that the victims that are sex trafficked include both voluntary and involuntary participants. The head of the organization, CEO Carl Ferrer, 55, was arrested at a Houston airport and has been extradited to California. Ferrer is now in a Sacramento jail.
Backpage is a multi-state and international online “advertising” website. It is considered the largest advertiser of adult escort services in North America. It is a Dutch-owned limited liability corporation (LLC) incorporated in Delaware and it has its principal place of business in Dallas.
An affidavit for a search warrant obtained by Breitbart Texas stated, “It is currently the single largest purveyor of Internet sex ads in the United States, and Backpage.com’s profits from this line of business register in the millions yearly.”
Backpage receives more than 90% of its revenue from the adult escort ad portion of its classified advertising. In California, that amounts to approximately $50 million in revenues for the period between January 2013 to May 31, 2015, or between $1.5 to $2.5 million per month.
The affidavit targeted all business and financial documents pertaining or related to Backpage.com shareholders, namely Carl Ferrer, Jim Larkin, and Michael Lacey.
In 2014, Breitbart News reported that Backpage.com had been profiting from the exploitation of women and children for years. The Breitbart News article written two years ago in October states, “[W]hat is even more appalling is that, so far, the site has gone largely unpunished by law enforcement for their facilitation of this despicable criminal activity. The ‘adult’ section of the site has become a horrific hub for the sex trafficking industry as women and children are being illegally sold for sex through classified ads posted to their page.”
Vasquez was indicted last December and his alleged illegal activities were discovered as a result of Project Safe Childhood. The project is a nationwide initiative aimed at child sexual exploitation and abuse started in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice. It is led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims who are exploited.
The admitted sex trafficker’s case is in the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division.