Online sex bust: Backpage.com's CEO arrested for sex-trafficking

The sex ad site 's 45-year-old CEO was arrested on charges including pimping a minor

By Don Thompson - Terry Wallace
Published October 7, 2016 11:15AM (EDT)
This photo released by the Texas Office of the Attorney General shows Carl Ferrer. (AP)
This photo released by the Texas Office of the Attorney General shows Carl Ferrer. (AP)

DALLAS — State agents have raided the Dallas offices of adult classified ad portal Backpage.com and arrested Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer following allegations that adult and child sex-trafficking victims were forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site.

RELATED: The oldest profession meets the newest tech: How the internet is keeping the sex trade going strong

Ferrer, 45, was arrested on a California warrant after arriving Thursday in Houston on a flight from Amsterdam. Authorities also issued warrants for the arrest of the site's controlling shareholders, 68-year-old Michael Lacey and 67-year-old James Larkin.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Ferrer was arrested on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping. Under California law, pimping is defined as making money off prostitutes or soliciting customers for prostitution.

RELATED: Sex ads: It isn’t just Backpage.com

Attorneys for the three company officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the charges.


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