Amazon, Microsoft employees indicted in sex trafficking investigation
An investigation into sexism and misogyny in the tech industry has unraveled another problem.
A recent Newsweek report revealed a slew of emails sent to brothels and pimps between 2014 and 2016 that documents the industry’s patronage of brothels and purchasing of services from trafficked sex workers.
Among the emails, which were obtained through a public records request to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, were 67 sent from Microsoft employee email accounts, 63 from Amazon accounts and dozens more from companies like Boeing, T-Mobile, Oracle and local Seattle tech firms.
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Some of the emails were collected during a 2015 sting operation that targeted sex worker review boards and resulted in the arrest of 18 individuals, including high-level Amazon and Microsoft directors. Two opted for a trial, which is currently set to begin in March.
Seattle’s sex industry has grown right alongside its tech industry and the city’s authorities have said that some men spend up to $50,000 per year on sex workers. Brothels are even known to advertise how close they are to tech offices.
Alex Trouteaud, director of policy and research at the anti-trafficking organization Demand Abolition, told Newsweek that the tech industry is a “culture that has readily embraced trafficking.”
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