Backpage Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking in Texas

Backpage Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking in Texas

Backpage.com has evaded U.S. law enforcement for years when it came to its role as a platform for sex work. That all changes with the site being seized last week and Texas’ state attorney charging the company with sex trafficking Thursday.

In addition to this, CEO Carl Ferrer pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering. As a result, he is staring down a maximum of five years behind bars. The time is all dependent on Ferrer holding up his end of the bargain and cooperating with Texas’ investigation into the company. He was originally arrested in Houston in the fall of 2016. This, in turn, led to a search of Backpage’s offices in Dallas.

According to the statement on the Texas attorney general’s site, “Backpage facilitated the sex trafficking of innocent women and children through sites it ran for 943 locations in 97 countries and 17 languages.” It was also noted that 73-percent of all child trafficking cases came as a result of Backpage.

The effort wasn’t all down to Texas as it worked in cooperation with California’s attorney general, the DA of Nueces County, federal agencies, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Considering the difficulty in bringing Backpage down, the operation must have been in play sometime before Ferrer’s arrest. That’s also taking into account all of the busts of trafficking that occurred before the CEO finally plead guilty.

It’s expected that others in Backpage’s leadership could be brought in on related charges. You can listen to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s statement on the development here.


Starting with Kabir News in 2013, James has focused on tech, gaming, and entertainment. When not writing, he enjoys catching up on sci-fi and horror shows and comics. He can be followed on Twitter @MetalSwift.

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