Sex worker advocate says backpage.com case prosecuting the wrong people
Website CEO Carl Ferrer and his partners, who are charged with sex trafficking and prostitution in connection with Backpage.com, were to be released on bail Thursday, according to the site’s corporate counsel.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael G. Bowman discussed bail for Ferrer, Michael Lacey and James Larkin in a closedhearing to protect the privacy of the individual who wanted to post bail for the men. The closure is allowed under the state Penal Code.
According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, bail for Ferrer is $500,000. Bail for Lacey and Larkin is $250,000 each, the Sheriff’s Department said.
The three were expected to be released Thursday, said Liz McDougall, general counsel for Backpage.com.
Ferrer faces 10 felony charges including pimping of a minor, pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping. Lacey and Larkin, controlling shareholders in the site, face charges of conspiracy to commit pimping.
All three men appeared in court Wednesday, but they did not enter a plea. They also are scheduled for a Nov. 16 hearing where defense attorneys plan to argue against the complaint, saying it violates their clients’ First Amendment rights.
The charges against the men are the result of a three-year joint investigation by Texas and California attorneys general. Ferrer, 55, was arrested on a California warrant after arriving at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport on a flight from Amsterdam.