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Backpage CEO Arrested for Pimping
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Summary: The CEO of Backpage.com has been arrested for pimping charges. 

The CEO of Backpage.com was arrested this week for charges related to prostitution. The multi-million dollar online classifieds website was notorious for postings by escorts, special massage therapists, and other sex workers; and the government had finally had enough.

  
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On Thursday, the Texas Attorney General confirmed to reporters that CEO Carl Ferrer, 55, was arrested in the state on a California warrant. Ferrer was charged with pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping.

“Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “I intend to use every resource my office has to make sure those who profit from the exploitation and trafficking of persons are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

The investigation into Backpage’s dealings reportedly took years, and last year, the Cook County Sheriff in Illinois had cut off the website’s credit card payment system. The sheriff told credit card companies that Backpage facilitated prostitution and sex trafficking and warned them that they shouldn’t turn a blind eye to child prostitution. The ten-year-old website became the premiere destination for escort ads after Craigslist banned them in 2012.

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Backpage’s shareholders, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, were also charged with conspiracy to commit pimping, but they are not yet in custody. A spokesperson for the California attorney general’s office said there are warrants out for their arrest.

According to Buzzfeed, the California arrest warrant called Backpage’s escort services section “an online brothel.” The warrant claims that while Backpage makes some money off of normal classified ads, the real profits came from the escort service postings.



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“Backpage’s internal revenue reports show that from January 2013 to March 2015, 99% of Backpage’s worldwide income was directly attributable to the ‘adult’ section,” the California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement.

The warrant adds that an investigation found that numerous underage children who were victims of sex trafficking had prostitution ads on Backpage.

In the past, Backpage avoided criminal charges because they argued that they were a platform and not responsible for ads or other content that users posted. However, that defense did not hold up recently for gay escort classifieds site, Rentboy. Today, the CEO of Rentboy pled guilty to charges of promoting prostitution.

Do you think the Backpage CEO will be convicted for the pimping charges? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Buzzfeed

Photos courtesy of CNN of Trench Reynolds



 

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