It says Backpage was created in , but since has been owned by a Netherlands-based company that has Ferrer as its only named partner. California officials said their investigation was prompted in part by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which reported 2, instances to California authorities since when suspected child sex trafficking occurred using Backpage. The charges against Ferrer could bring him nearly 22 years in prison, while Larkin and Lacey face a maximum six years.
Backpage advertises a wide range of services, but the California arrest warrant alleges that internal business records obtained through a search warrant show that 99 percent its revenue came from its adult services section between January and March Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, chairman and ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, issued a statement hailing the criminal charges resulting from what they called "the scourge of online sex trafficking. Never miss a story Choose the plan that's right for you. One of the advertisers, identified only as year-old "E. The site's controlling shareholders, Michael Lacey, 68, and James Larkin, 67, have been charged with conspiracy to commit pimping, Harris said in a statement. Senate in next month's election. She used other online advertising services until they were shut down, the court filing says, when she turned to Backpage. California Attorney General Kamala Harris said that Ferrer was arrested on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping. The criminal complaint includes allegations that five minors, three of them including "E. Ferrer, 55, was arrested on a California warrant after arriving at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on a flight from Amsterdam. Last month, the Supreme Court refused to block a Senate subpoena seeking information on how Backpage screens ads for possible sex trafficking. California officials said the site collects fees from users who use coded language and nearly nude photos to offer sex for money. Digital access or digital and print delivery. It says Backpage was created in , but since has been owned by a Netherlands-based company that has Ferrer as its only named partner. California authorities said the state's three-year investigation found many of the ads include victims of sex trafficking including children under the age of It says Ferrer expanded Backpage's share of online sex marketing by creating affiliated sites including EvilEmpire. The charges against Ferrer could bring him nearly 22 years in prison, while Larkin and Lacey face a maximum six years. Under California's law, felony pimping is defined as making money off of prostitutes or soliciting customers for prostitution. Neither of them has been taken into custody by late Thursday although warrants have been issued for their arrest. An attorney who previously represented the two men, Michael Manning, did not immediately respond to a telephone message from The AP. Backpage has been the subject of recent Senate hearings into its classified ads. The site operates in hundreds of cities worldwide, authorities said, including more than 30 in California. California officials said their investigation was prompted in part by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which reported 2, instances to California authorities since when suspected child sex trafficking occurred using Backpage.
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