SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced April 9 that Backpage.com, the largest online brothel in the world, and affiliated websites have been seized and shut down.
A joint law enforcement effort led to the shutdown, with the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, the U.S. Department of Justice’s child exploitation and obscenity section, the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the office of the Texas Attorney General all participating.
The CA DOJ has been prosecuting the operators of Backpage.com since August 2017. The case is titled People of the State of California v. Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, & James Larkin.
“The world’s largest online brothel [has been] taken down,” Becerra said in a statement. “We welcome and salute the action of our federal partners to ensure that those who traffic young women and men online are held accountable, not just for their crimes in California but throughout the world. Our office will continue to work in partnership with federal and state law enforcement agencies to protect those who are exploited and sold for sex.”