'I Lost a Part of Me': Family of Murdered Girl Files Suit Against BackPage.com - NBC Chicago

'I Lost a Part of Me': Family of Murdered Girl Files Suit Against BackPage.com

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    'I Lost a Part of Me': Family of Murdered Girl Files Suit Against BackPage.com

    It was a Christmas eve nightmare for Yvonne Ambrose and her family--her daughter Desiree Robinson discovered murdered in a Markham garage. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

    (Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017)

    It was a Christmas eve nightmare for Yvonne Ambrose and her family--her daughter Desiree Robinson discovered murdered in a Markham garage.

    "We aren’t the same anymore," Ambrose said. "We changed. We are hurt. I lost a part of me."

    Prosecutors say the alleged murderer, Antonio Rosales, met the 16-year-old through an ad on BackPage.com.

    "Antonio Rosales allegedly attempted to rape Desiree for the second time and when he met with resistance he assaulted and brutally murdered her," said attorney Bhavani Raveendran.

    Now ambrosia is bringing a suit against the controversial website, claiming it created on online marketplace to profit from the sex-trafficking of children.

    "BackPage.Com, through their actions, knowingly and recklessly conspired with pimps and child traffickers allowing children in this case Desiree to be sold for sex," attorney Gina Arquilla Deboni said.

    In the past, BackPage and its owners have successfully fought off challenges in the courts--including one from Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

    "BackPage has become sort of the leader now in facilitating prostitution," Dart says.

    But Abrose's attorneys say they think they can prevail.

    The lawsuit alleges BackPage was directly involved, developing special software to help advertisers avoid keywords, even coaching them on how to sanitize their ads.

    "It was like putting lipstick on a pig," Deboni said. "They knew exactly what they were doing. These were ads for sex with children."

    Ambrose is hoping her suit can help find justice and help prevent what happened to her daughter from happening to anybody else.

    "Justice is everyone who is involved being held accountable for this," she says.

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