Erik Bauer is a Tacoma Attorney with over 30 years of experience practicing law out of his home base in Tacoma, Washington. His practice has focused on representing abused children, and adults who were abused as children, in successful lawsuits against the perpetrators and other responsible entities. Mr. Bauer has tried a variety of cases in State and Federal Courts, ranging from death penalty murder cases to personal injury claims.
Recently, Mr. Bauer was highly focused on a series of cases involving minor plaintiffs in lawsuits against Backpage.com, a website devoted to prostitution advertisements. Backpage has enjoyed remarkable success in providing a nationwide forum for pimps to promote for sale, their victims of human sex trafficking. Backpage makes over 37 million dollars per year in revenue from their human trafficking website. Multiple state legislatures have passed laws attempting to stymie Backpage’s ability to advertise sex trafficking victims.
Backpage has successfully sued these states, thus preventing the enforcement of these laws claiming immunity under a Federal Statute. (CDA § 230)
All 50 State Attorney Generals have cooperated in another unsuccessful effort to get Backpage to cease its advertising of sex trafficking victims. Mr. Bauer was recently able to convince a Washington State Trial Court Judge to rule that the CDA § 230 does not give Backpage immunity in a case where he represents two 7th grade clients and one ninth grade client who were sold off the pages of Backpage.com to as many as 20 johns per day.
The trial Court accepted Mr. Bauer’s legal theory and ruled for the plaintiffs, and Backpage has appealed the ruling on interlocutory appeal up to the Washington State Supreme Court. So far, Backpage operated with immunity. This ruling from Pierce County will hopefully blaze a legal route to end blatant advertising on the internet for child sex trafficking victims.