Among the sites that were shuttered: But it was also the scourge of law enforcement officials across the country whose investigative files teemed with hundreds of examples of cases that had connections to ads on the site: Maybe he knew trouble was on the horizon. Phoenix New Times happily stepped into the journalistic void. Another worrisome development for the seven defendants:
Through their attorneys, Lacey and Larkin declined comment for this article. In the days after the federal legislation was enacted, dozens of websites dealing with adult content shut down out of fear that they might be sued and face huge financial penalties. A broad coalition of religious groups joined the growing chorus of outrage. Dozens of former employees across the country received similar expressions of gratitude from Lacey. California subsequently filed additional criminal charges of money laundering and bank fraud against the Backpage defendants, which are still pending. The bipartisan bill allows prosecutors or victims to take websites to court if they knowingly enable sex trafficking through advertisements, posts or other means. On deadline days for escort ads, the offices of New Times publications filled with young women wearing skimpy outfits and too much perfume, along with sullen men lurking in the hallways. This success did not escape the notice of the same people who had targeted Craigslist. Perhaps feeling empowered by their run of successes, Lacey and Larkin, around this time, cut their ties to journalism. These are stone cold criminals of the worst kind. Still, these prosecutions could be different. Lacey explained his editorial philosophy in a profane, wine-fueled interview in New York magazine. The million pages of emails, memos and financial records that Backpage had produced under court order revealed what company officials had refused to discuss in public. I can only guess at his motivation. A fledgling organization called Investigative Reporters and Editors spearheaded an investigation into the car-bombing murder of Arizona Republic journalist Don Bolles. Lacey scoffed at the moral hectoring. The New Times chain boasted a combined circulation of 1. They were a formidable team, with Lacey handling editorial duties and Larkin running the business side. Larkin immediately recognized the significance. The horror stories mentioned above formed the backbone of the case. Not even their former colleagues can agree on whether to admire or renounce them. Sex had always been part of the business model for alt-weeklies. But in , what had become known as Phoenix New Times had its first big break. New Times raised questions about how Arpaio was able to purchase multiple homes on his modest salary. The two men at the center of the operation, say federal investigators, were a pair of longtime media iconoclasts, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. The company fought efforts to hand over documents all the way to the U.
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