Today, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that the world’s largest online brothel, Backpage.com, and affiliated websites have been seized and shut down. The website’s closure follows a joint law enforcement effort involving the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ), United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, United States Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the office of the Texas Attorney General.
In August 2017, the CA DOJ commenced a criminal prosecution against the operators of Backpage.com in People of the State of California v. Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, & James Larkin. This case is being prosecuted in Sacramento County Superior Court.
“Last Friday, the world’s largest online brothel was taken down,” said Attorney General Becerra. “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.”