A website called Backpage allegedly took millions of dollars in advertising from people trying to lure children into prostitution. California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement that the website was responsible for "trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable victims" -- a practice she called "outrageous, despicable and illegal." California worked with Texas, whose Attorney General Ken Paxton said of Backpage: "modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas."
In March 2016, the US Senate held Backpage in contempt for refusing to cooperate in a sex trafficking investigation. Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer, who was taken into custody this week on pimping charges by Texas authorities, ignored a subpoena issued by the Senate in October 2015, citing First Amendment protections. California AG Harris said Backpage executives "purposefully and unlawfully designed Backpage to be the world's top online brothel."
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