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Attorney General’s Office and the King County Prosecutor’s Office in court over Backpage.com suit

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the King County Prosecutor’s Office today argued in defense of a state law to protect kids from being sold for sex.

Today, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez heard oral arguments in response to a lawsuit brought by Backpage.com, LLC against Washington state and all 39 counties. The lawsuit asks the court to declare Senate Bill 6251 invalid and to stop its enforcement, which was scheduled to take effect June 7, 2012. Backpage also asks to be awarded damages. Senior Assistant Attorney General Lana Weinmann, who heads the Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Division, argued the state’s position, that SB 6251 is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes.

The new law was written to keep minors from being sexually exploited by being advertised on Backpage and in other publications. The hearing today addressed Backpage’s request for a preliminary injunction stopping the law. While Judge Martinez heard arguments, he issued no ruling.

 

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