A Texas woman, claiming that she was r-ped, beaten and s-x trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who posed as a Facebook “friend,” has filed suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the s-x trade on their platform.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe in court papers filed in Harris County District Court in Houston on Monday, also named as defendants the now-shuttered classified ads website Backpage.com and its founders.
According to the lawsuit, the woman was “friended” on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know several of her real-life friends. The man messaged her through Facebook, according to the lawsuit, which was seen by Reuters.
The lawsuit alleges that at one point following an argument with her mother, the trafficker offered to console her, but after picking her up from her home he beat and -aped her and took pictures that were posted on Backpage.com.
The lawsuit says Facebook did not do enough to verify the user’s identity, which the lawsuit said was false, and that Jane Doe was never warned that s-x traffickers were operating on the social media network.
The plaintiff’s attorneys, David Harris and Louie Cook of the law firm Sico Hoelscher Harris LLP in Houston, did not reply to requests for comment.Backpage.com was shut down by authorities earlier this year after a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the website was used primarily to sell s-x.