According to Reuters, an American woman identified only as Jane Doe in court papers, is alleging that she was raped, beaten and sex 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 sex trade on their platform.
She 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. The lawsuit reports that the woman was “friended” on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know many of her real-life friends. The man messaged her through Facebook, according to the lawsuit, which was seen by Reuters. It was gathered from the lawsuit 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 raped 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 sex traffickers were operating on the social media network.
Earlier this year, Backpage.com was shut down by authorities after a Justice Department investigation it was discovered that the website was being use to sell sex.