CRIME

Washington Supreme Court rules in favor of girls who sued Backpage.com

FILE  - In this Oct. 21, 2014 file photo, people opposed to child sex trafficking rally outside of the Washington state Supreme Court in Olympia, Wash. The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in favor of three young girls who sued Backpage.com, claiming they were sold as prostitutes on the site. Thursday's ruling says the Communications Decency Act does not protect Backpage from state lawsuits because there's enough evidence to show that it didn't just host the ads, but helped develop the content. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2014 file photo, people opposed to child sex trafficking rally outside of the Washington state Supreme Court in Olympia, Wash. The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in favor of three young girls who sued Backpage.com, claiming they were sold as prostitutes on the site. Thursday's ruling says the Communications Decency Act does not protect Backpage from state lawsuits because there's enough evidence to show that it didn't just host the ads, but helped develop the content. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in favor of three young girls who sued Backpage.com after they were sold as prostitutes on the site.

Thursday's ruling says the Communications Decency Act does not protect Backpage from state lawsuits because of allegations that the company didn't just host the ads, but helped develop the content.

The lawsuit claimed Backpage.com markets itself as a place to sell "escort services" but actually provides pimps with instructions on how to write an ad that works.

Backpage had filed a motion to dismiss the suit. A lower court denied that request and the company appealed, saying it was immune from liability.

But the Supreme Court says the case should proceed because the girls have alleged facts that, if proved, would show that Backpage helped produce illegal content.