Backpage.com, the second-largest classified-ad website after Craigslist, was shut down April 6 after a joint law-enforcement effort. In a press release announcing the closure, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called the website “the world’s largest online brothel.”
The website’s closure was the result of an effort involving the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ), the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, the United States Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the office of the Texas Attorney General.
In August 2017, the CA DOJ commenced a criminal prosecution against the operators of Backpage.com in People of the State of California v. Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey & James Larkin. The case is being prosecuted in Sacramento County Superior Court.
“We welcome and salute the action of our federal partners to ensure that those who traffic young women and men online are held accountable, not just for their crimes in California but throughout the world,” Becerra said. “Our office will continue to work in partnership with federal and state law-enforcement agencies to protect those who are exploited and sold for sex.”
More background information on the lawsuit is available at oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-court-allows-prosecution-sex-trafficking-backpagecom.
Source: Becerra’s office