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By Reuters Staff. Reuters - California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday filed new criminal charges of pimping and money laundering against the chief executive and controlling shareholders of the website Back.
The new charges against Back. While the pimping charges appear similar to those filed by Harris against the trio in October and later dismissed, the money laundering allegations are new. Back, the second-largest U. Senate as well as civil lawsuits over allegations that the site facilitates sex trafficking, especially of children.
But efforts to prosecute the company have been blocked by a federal law that shields website operators from responsibility for content posted by third-parties. Representatives for Back could not immediately be reached for comment.
The latest action, like other lawsuits involving Back. The federal shield for content liability is considered critical for web companies ranging from Google and Facebook to eBay and Airbnb, but it has come under fire from some lawmakers and judges.
One civil lawsuit against Back was filed in in Washington State by three young teenagers who alleged they were raped multiple times after being advertised on the site. The girls, the oldest of whom was 15, sued Back for claims including sexual exploitation of children, alleging its posting rules were intended to instruct pimps how to post trafficking that evade law enforcement. Back argued it has rules to prevent unlawful posts, and some free speech advocates filed briefs in support of its position.
The Washington state Supreme Court disagreed, ruling last year that the lawsuit could go forward. Earlier this year, however, a similar trafficking case involving children against Back in Massachusetts was dismissed by a federal appeals court, which said the free speech principles embodied in the Communications Decency Act were paramount.
Harris, a Democrat, was recently elected to the U. Senate and will take office in January. Internet News Updated. By Reuters Staff 3 Min Read.California backpage classifieds
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