Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner is hosting a premiere screening of a new groundbreaking documentary detailing the horrors of the child sex trafficking industry in the United States.
The movie is called "I Am Jane Doe," and will be released in theaters nationwide in mid-February. The screening will be held on Monday, October 30th, at Kirkwood High School in St. Louis County.
The movie tells the story of teenage girls who have been victims of human trafficking and who have been marketed for sexual encounters through the pernicious website Backpage.com.
Backpage has been widely excoriated by law enforcement authorities as an online brothel in which the "sexual services" of underage children are being advertised by human traffickers.
The documentary describes the epic battle the mothers of these girls waged on behalf of their middle-school daughters to take legal action against Backpage.
The film focuses on the stories of sexual bondage of a 15-year-old girl from Seattle, a 13-year-old girl from St. Louis, and a group of middle school girls from Boston.
Congresswoman Wagner has been a leading figure in Congress in efforts to shut down the use of online websites by human trafficking networks to solicit "hook-ups" and "escort services" with underage minors.
Representative Wagner succeeded two years ago in winning passage of a new federal law known as the SAVE Act, with the acronym standing for Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation.
The SAVE Act made it a federal offense to "distribute advertising that offers a commercial sex act" or to "knowingly benefit financially from or receive anything of value" from the advertisement of "sexual services."
Federal and local prosecutors have had difficulty in charging Backpage and other online "hookup" websites because of language in a federal law known as the CDA, or the Communications Decency Act.
Backpage attorneys have cited that law as a legal defense, arguing that it provides them legal immunity for third-party advertising when they did not originate the content of the advertisements.
Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is now pushing legislation which would assist mothers like those portrayed in the "Jane Doe" film in seeking justice for their daughters against online purveyors of the child sex trade.
She has sponsored a bill known as the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. Her legislation would amend the CDA to authorize civil lawsuits against websites that "assist, support, or facilitate violations of federal sex trafficking laws."
Congresswoman Wagner has filed a similar bill in the U.S. House.
Backpage makes a filthy fortune off their portal for pimps and predators. It is estimated that Backpage earns more than $30 million a year from sexually charged ads posted on their classified advertising marketplace.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that more than 70% of all child sex trafficking incidents they handle are related to ads placed on Backpage.
The screening for the "I Am Jane Doe" film will be held at the Keating Center at Kirkwood High School at 801 W. Essex Ave. in Kirkwood.
The 90-minute movie will begin at 7:00 PM on October 30th, followed by a panel discussion hosted by Congresswoman Wagner. Among those on the panel will be Mary Mazzio, the director of the documentary.
Movie critics in the mainstream media have offered positive reviews after screening the film. The Los Angeles Times has described it as "a powerful call to action."
You can obtain a complimentary ticket to attend the screening by following this link: