The state of Washington made history yesterday. In a first-of-its-kind case, the King County Sherriff’s Office, the Bellevue Police Department, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the FBI charged over a dozen sex buyers with the felony crime of “promoting prostitution.” These men are high-frequency sex buyers who belong to an organization known as “The League,” an online network that used specific websites to interact and share information on the illegal sex trade. Often known as “john boards,” these sites allow sex buyers to rate the women they pay for, tell other buyers how they can gain access to secret brothels, and give tips on avoiding police detection. In this case, the office of the King County Prosecuting Attorney has reported that “League” members were encouraged to buy certain individuals “as often as possible” so their traffickers would make enough money to keep them in the area—evidence that many buyers knew these women were not in the sex trade consensually.

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