The Latest: CEO arrested in Texas on pimping charges CEO arrested in Texas on pimping charges
By  Politico CEO Carl Ferrer, who has been locked in a heated contempt battle with a Senate panel probing his site's alleged facilitation of child prostitution and sex trafficking, was arrested in Texas Thursday on criminal pimping charges.

Ferrer, 55, had just flown into George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, from Amsterdam when he was taken into custody on the California warrant, according to a statement from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Ferrer was arrested on a 10-count complaint charging him with pimping conspiracy, pimping, pimping of a minor and attempted pimping of a minor—all stemming from his operation of the Backpage website.


Backpage CEO to appear in Houston court on prostitution bust
By Andrea Zelinski Chron

AUSTIN — The CEO of is scheduled to appear in a Houston courtroom Friday a day after he was arrested at Bush Intercontinental Airport on pimping charges in an attempt to crack down on human trafficking, state officials said on Thursday.

Law enforcement apprehended Carl Ferrer, 55, after his flight from Amsterdam landed at the airport on Thursday afternoon. He was taken into custody on a California arrest warrant that included a 10-count complaint accusing him of pimping conspiracy, pimping a minor, and attempted pimping of a minor.

Ferrer is scheduled to appear in Harris County County Criminal Court at Law Nov. 10. A Texas search warrant affidavit accuses the chief executive of of engaging in money laundering while operating the adult classified ad portal.


The Latest: Backpage attorney blasts raid, CEO's arrest

The attorney for is blasting the raid on the online classified ad portal's Dallas headquarters and the arrest of chief executive Carl Ferrer as "an election year stunt" on the part of the California attorney general and "not a good-faith action by law enforcement."

In a statement issued Friday, Backpage general counsel Liz McDougall said "the actions of the California and Texas attorneys general are flatly illegal" and "ignore the holdings of numerous federal courts that the First Amendment protects the ads on"

She also said the actions violate a federal law that she says pre-empts state actions such as these and immunizes web hosts of third-party-created content.


Search warrants and other documents show that California officials conducted an extensive investigation into Backpage beginning in 2013, including obtaining company email records from Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit. Texas officials obtained a warrant to search Backpage’s Dallas headquarters and appear to be considering state money-laundering charges.


California judge allows bail for operators
By Don Thompson

Backpage attorney Liz McDougall said the site’s chief executive, Carl Ferrer, 55, would post $500,000 bail. Ferrer is charged with pimping a minor, pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping.
The former owners of the Village Voice in New York City, Michael Lacey, 68, and James Larkin, 67, would post $250,000 each, she said. They are charged with conspiracy to commit pimping. The Arizona men, who also once owned the Phoenix New Times alternative weekly, are Backpage’s controlling shareholders, according to state authorities.

McDougall and other attorneys representing the three men declined comment.

The attorney general’s office did not oppose allowing the three to post bail, said spokeswoman Kristin Ford, nor has it attempted to freeze the website’s assets or shut it down.


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