Backpage.com pleading guilty to human trafficking charges in Texas

Backpage.com pleading guilty to human trafficking charges in Texas

Backpage.com pleading guilty to human trafficking charges in Texas

The "sex worker's rights are women's rights" slogan, was challenged by critics, however, who felt that rallying for legal prostitution essentially argues that sex work is an inherent part of being a female.

Law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department, seized Backpage's servers last week after the DOJ found the site took "consistent and concerted actions" to intentionally allow ads for illegal sex work, The Washington Post reported.

Several people employed by Backpage.com were charged in a 93-count indictment unsealed on Monday that included among the accusations knowingly facilitating prostitution.

Lacey and Larkin also earlier pleaded not guilty to the California charges after Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Larry Brown a year ago allowed the state to continue with money laundering charges.

Backpage pleaded guilty to facilitating the sex trafficking of women and children through sites it ran for 943 locations in 97 countries and 17 languages.

"Backpage has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking, placing profits over the well-being and safety of the many thousands of women and children who were victimized by its practices", said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. odd.


They are Michael Lacey, 69, of Paradise Valley, Arizona; James Larkin, 68, of Paradise Valley, Arizona; Scott Spear, 67, of Scottsdale, Arizona; John E. "Jed" Brunst, 66, of Phoenix, Arizona; Daniel Hyer, 49, of Dallas, Texas; Andrew Padilla, 45, of Plano, Texas; and Jaala Joye Vaught, 37, of Addison, Texas. But that case was dismissed in 2016 after a judge found that the defendants were protected by the federal Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity against charges for speech created on a website by third parties - in this case, the ads on backpage.com.

The founders also were among those indicted this month by a federal grand jury in Arizona. "And the conviction of CEO Ferrer is a game-changer in combating human trafficking in California, indeed worldwide". The state attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case, alleges that Backpage's operators illegally funneled almost $45 million through multiple companies and created websites to get around banks that refused to process their transactions.

Under his plea agreement, Ferrer agreed to reveal company's data to law enforcement agencies as investigations and prosecutions continue.

The Dutch-owned company is incorporated in DE, but its principal place of business is in Dallas.

But Brown threw out pimping conspiracy and other state charges against Backpage's operators.

"I'm pleased that Congress has taken additional steps by passing my SESTA legislation to let sex trafficking victims seek justice and allow state and local law enforcement to swiftly prosecute websites that violate federal sex trafficking laws", Portman said. "There is no one in the entire world who made more money off sex trafficking than the owners of this website", she said.

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