Human Trafficking
Ferrer: Texas Office of the Attorney General/

Backpage CEO arrested in sex trafficking probe

Crime | The head of the online ad site is accused of pimping children
by Gaye Clark
Posted 10/07/16, 11:43 am

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday his office arrested Carl Ferrer, CEO of the embattled online ad website Backpage, on California felony pimping charges, including pimping a minor. Ferrer is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond and will face an extradition hearing before he can be returned to California. In Texas, he will face additonal charges of money laundering related to human trafficking. Michael Lacey and James Larkin, controlling shareholders of Backpage, have also been criminally charged with conspiracy to commit pimping, a felony in California.

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Associated Press/Photo by M. Spencer Green

Supreme Court declines sheriff’s appeal in Backpage case

Supreme Court | A ruling against a sheriff who took on sex trafficking will stay in place
by Gaye Clark
Posted 10/05/16, 04:46 pm

The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal from Illinois Sheriff Thomas Dart, letting stand a lower court order shuttering Dart’s efforts to disrupt online sex ads linked to trafficking of minors.

In June 2015, Dart sent letters to Visa and MasterCard asking them not to process payments to the classified advertising website Backpage.

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Sting operations shift the focus of sex crimes arrests

Human Trafficking | Despite high-profile roundups, victims’ advocates say too few men face penalties for buying sex—even from minors
by Gaye Clark
Posted 9/21/16, 01:49 pm

Last week, Florida police arrested 22 men—including the senior pastor of a Methodist church—as a result of a sting operation that targeted adults seeking sex with minor children. According to Pensacola police, the men, who ranged in age from 18 to 71, showed up at a home expecting to engage in sex acts with children. They brought with them drugs, sex toys, and plans for illegal activity. Instead, police arrested them. 

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