SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California's attorney general is pursuing new charges against the operators of a website advertising escort services two weeks after a judge tossed an earlier case.
Kamala Harris, an incoming U.S. senator, said Friday that she's charged Backpage.com executives Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey and James Larkin with 13 counts of pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping. They're also charged with 26 counts of money laundering.
Harris says the new charges are based on new evidence. It comes after a Sacramento County judge threw out pimping charges against the men on Dec. 9, citing federal free-speech laws.
Harris claims Backpage.com illegally funneled money through multiple companies and created various websites to get around banks that refused to process transactions.
Attorneys for Ferrer, Lacey and Larkin didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.