Maggy Krell is a legal trailblazer who has taken on impactful cases as a criminal prosecutor and human rights lawyer. She was a prosecutor for 15 years, serving as Supervising Deputy Attorney General in California and cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.Her most notable accomplishments stem from her tireless efforts to combat human trafficking and protect and empower survivors, including her ground-breaking prosecution of the sex-trafficking website, Backpage.com. Krell also served as Chief Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California where she fought to protect and expand reproductive rights and access to healthcare. Krell currently runs her own practice providing legal support and impact strategy for survivors and non-profit organizations.
In TAKING DOWN BACKPAGE (New York University Press; on sale January 11, 2022; hardcover; $22.95), veteran prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the gripping behind-the-scenes story of leading the legal charge against Backpage.com, a website that claimed to be a marketplace for all manner of sales and connections, but truly had one money-making function: to accept advertisements for commercial sex, many of which featured sex trafficking victims who were forced or coerced into being on the site, including children. In doing so she describes a new and more just way of prosecuting human trafficking in the U.S.
In the book Krell does a masterful job of explaining sex trafficking in the United States and how the legal framework around it has evolved over the last 20 years. Dispelling popular myths about who human trafficking impacts and how it occurs, Krell zeroes in on the most vulnerable targets: children from poor neighborhoods who have suffered abuse in their own homes and then been failed by the child welfare system. Too often treated as criminals instead of victims, sexually exploited teenagers would formerly languish in the criminal justice system while their traffickers flew under the radar. And many in law enforcement struggled to recognize this larger pattern and the ways in which vulnerable teenagers—who were disproportionately girls and women of color—were being exploited and then punished.
Watch Full Interview:
Story Key Notes:
- About Taking Down Backpackage
- What Human Trafficking is, and Who is Affected by it
- Why it’s so Difficult for Men and Women Who are Trafficked to Get Out of “The Life”
- Why it’s Difficult for Law Enforcement to Find Traffickers and Bring Them to Justice
- How Maggy’s Work in the Case Against Backpage.com Illustrates How this Can be Done, and Why it Can and Should be a Model Moving Forward
You can find out more about Maggy by visiting:
Learn more at https://www.comfortcases.org/