Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens is joining with his counterparts in 49 other states in calling on Congress to amend a federal law to allow state prosecution of websites that advertise prostitution or sex trafficking.
They complain the law, known as the Communication Decency Act of 1996, has been interpreted by the courts as giving immunity to such online businesses.
Most ads on Backpage.com can be placed for free, but there is a fee to advertise adult services.
Prostitution stings involving such websites are a common occurrence by the Gwinnett County Police Department.
"Most of the prostitution we encounter and investigate in Gwinnett County is facilitated in some manor through a website like Backpage.com," says Cpl. Jake Smith.
He tells WSB's Sandra Parrish sites, that have even included Craigslist, are routinely monitored for the illegal activity.
Even the department isn't immune. Cpl. Brian Kelly, a former Gwinnett Police spokesman, was caught up in a prostitution sting last year in Barrow County through Backpage.com. He resigned in lieu of being fired.
The letter drafted by the National Association of Attorneys General asks that the amendment specify that nothing in the Act “shall be construed to impair the enforcement” of obscenity or sexual exploitation prosecutions.