California Attorney General Kamala Harris has renewed the case against the co-founders of online classifieds site Backpage com. Earlier this month, a judge in Sacramento County threw out pimping and sex trafficking charges against three of the site's executives, citing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online service providers from illegal activity committed by users of their site. Last Friday, however, Harris announced her office is pursuing 13 new charges of pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping as well as 26 counts of money laundering against the site's execs.
Harris' office now claims to have new evidence that co-founders Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, and James Larkin created a network of "multiple corporate entities" to circumvent financial institutions that were wary of Backpage com's "overtly sexual material." Harris' office also claims the three executives built other websites to help drive "prostitution-related revenue" on Backpage itself.