Gravely was arrested the next day. The indictment accuses the executives of presenting Backpage as a site to advertise escort services while knowing that "the overwhelming majority of the website's ads involve prostitution. Sex workers also have argued that the bill would make people working in the industry less safe.
CEO Carl Ferrer and shareholders Lacey and Larkin had previously been charged with conspiracy to commit pimping, but a California judge rejected the charges. After the bill 's passage, Craigslist shut down its personals section in the U. In case after case against Backpage, the site's lawyers successfully argued the website was not responsible for its ads, citing a law that shields social media and other Internet platforms from liability for what users say or post online. Sex workers also have argued that the bill would make people working in the industry less safe. Several young women and their families have over the years lost lawsuits against the classifieds website, accusing it of facilitating child sex trafficking. Ferrer was subpoenaed to testify before the Senate in , but he did not show up. It also known for listings adult escorts and other sexual services, and authorities say advertising related to those services has been extremely lucrative. It said authorities planned to release information about the enforcement action later Friday. Gravely is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. Gravely, 27, of Portland, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation in interstate commerce for prostitution in November for his role in the incident. Plus, a major Senate investigation and a cache of discovered documents eventually suggested that Backpage was actively involved in the creating and editing of the sex ads, making the site a publisher that could be liable for its content. He, Lacey and Larkin did appear before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in , but they declined to answer questions, citing the First and Fifth Amendments. Blanchard and Gravely were charged in federal court in Portland on Oct. When the three women arrived in Boston, Blanchard reserved a hotel room for them to use as a base of operations for prostitution, according to an affidavit filed by Special Agent Anthony Castellanos of U. State prosecutors in California have said the website's chief executive Carl Ferrer and founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin illegally funneled money through multiple companies and created various websites to get around banks that refused to process transactions. A decade ago, they were arrested by then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office in for publishing information about a secret grand jury subpoena demanding information on its stories and online readers. Federal law enforcement authorities are in the process of seizing Backpage. On March 27 and 28, the two men went into downtown Portland and enlisted another woman into prostitution. A screenshot of Backpage. When Blanchard brought her back to the hotel, she snuck down to the lobby and called Boston police, who responded and also contacted their counterparts in Portland, Castellanos said. The law, however, allows for federal criminal investigations. The legislation faced opposition from free-expression groups and some Internet companies that consider Section the core pillar of the modern Internet and say the crimes will simply travel deeper into the dark Web. Some in the sex worker industry say that removing Backpage from the internet takes away a safe mechanism for screening clients, and that the ads will simply move to sites outside the country, or to social media. A notice that appeared Friday afternoon at Backpage. The site had argued it simply hosted the ads.
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