Backpage.com CEO Arrested Over Sex Trafficking Allegations

Carl Ferrer, foremost adherent of advertising webcolumn Backpage.com, was arrested on Thursday on felonious beak including pimping, as authorities dare the community which has been prisoner of facilitating sex trafficking of minors. The attorneys open of Texas and California said in a prostanding that Ferrer had been smitten into conservation in Houston on a California assure. Backpage, the second-largest U.S. online classified ad benefit behind Craigslist, has faced inspection from the U.S. Senate as polite as urbane lawsuits balance allegations that the column facilitates sex trafficking, especially of consequence. Kristin Ford, a spokeswoman for California Attorney Open Kamala Harris, said Ferrer would answer in a Texas pursue for an betrayal hearing intrinsic he waives it. Attorneys for Backpage.com could not forthdelay be reached for observe. Harris so announced a felonious accuse on Thursday athwart the controlling shareholders of Backpage.com, Michael Lacey and James Larkin. Ford said assures entertain been issued for Lacey and Larkin but they are not in conservation. The California AG function said it had conducted a three-year inquiry, including undercbalance operations columning protector ads. The Senate voted 96-0 precedent this year to foundation Backpage in urbane disaffection behind it did not forego delay a subpoena to artisan balance documents explaining how it combats sex trafficking in ads on the adult exception of its website. One urbane lawsuit athwart Backpage was filed in 2012 in Washington Aver by three boyish teenagers who alleged they were raped multiple times behind substance advertised on the column. The girls, the oldest of whom was 15, sued Backpage for claims including sexual exploitation of consequence, alleging its columning rules were intentional to teach pimps how to column trafficking ads that lose law enforcement. Backpage argued its rules are meant to bar impeded columns and invoked the federal Communications Decency Act, asserting they are not legitimate for the ads consequently they were third-party gratified. Some clear address advocates filed briefs in foundation of its standing. The Washington aver Supreme Pursue disagreed, prevalent last year that the lawsuit could go onward. Earlier this year, still, a common trafficking occurrence involving consequence athwart Backpage in Massachusetts was dismissed by a federal appeals pursue, which said the clear address principles esthetic in the Communications Decency Act were principal. (Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Bernard Orr)