Brown ruled that the charges are barred by a federal law protecting free speech that grants immunity to websites posting content from others. Lacey, Larkin and five others who work for the site were indicted on federal charges in what authorities said was a scheme to knowingly facilitate prostitution by running ads for sexual services and using foreign banks to hide revenues. Attorney Michael Piccarreta, who represents Padilla, said the case will be important in deciding whether a web host can be held responsible for a third party's behavior. Officials have struggled with how to deal with the website without violating free speech protections. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
Federal officials say Backpage. The Dutch-owned company is incorporated in Delaware, but its principal place of business is in Dallas. There were no lawyers listed in court records for Hyer. The indictment said it was implausible for Backpage. He called Ferrer's plea "a game-changer in combatting human trafficking in California, indeed worldwide. Meanwhile, a California judge dismissed pimping conspiracy and other charges against the Backpage. The indictment alleges Backpage. Executive vice president Scott Spear was charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering, while chief financial officer John Brunst was charged with money laundering. Lacey, Larkin and five others who work for the site were indicted on federal charges in what authorities said was a scheme to knowingly facilitate prostitution by running ads for sexual services and using foreign banks to hide revenues. The guilty pleas are the latest in a cascade of developments in the last week against the company founded by the former owners of the Village Voice in New York City, Michael Lacey, 69, and James Larkin, Last week, federal authorities seized Backpage. Brown ruled that the charges are barred by a federal law protecting free speech that grants immunity to websites posting content from others. Fri, April 13, 1: Lacey and Larkin are charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering. Justice Department also seized and shut down the website, and Ferrer's federal plea deal requires him to help the government seize all the company's assets. In the past, the site's operators challenged the California charges on First Amendment grounds. And a federal judge in Phoenix unsealed an April 5 plea deal revealing that Ferrer pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and Backpage. Michael Kimerer, a lawyer for Brunst, and Stephen Weiss, an attorney for Vaught, didn't return a call for comment. Lacey and Larkin were arrested in Arizona 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. Paxon called Thursday's pleas "a significant victory in the fight against human trafficking in Texas and around the world. The federal plea deal says any prison sentence Ferrer would face would run concurrent with his 5-year terms in Texas and California. Sales and marketing director Dan Hyer, operations manager Andrew Padilla and assistant operations manager Joye Vaught also were charged with facilitating prostitution. Lacey and Larkin also earlier pleaded not guilty in California after Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Larry Brown last year allowed the state to continue with money laundering charges. Five employees of the site also were arrested and pleaded not guilty, but Lacey and Larkin are the only ones in jail. The indictment alleged that Padilla threatened to fire any employee who acknowledged in writing that the escorts depicted in ads were actually prostitutes. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. President Donald Trump this week signed a law making it easier to prosecute website operators in the future.
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