Backpage.com Founders, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Arrested.
Friday, April 6, 2018 marks the day the online media veterans known as Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested in conjunction with a 93-count Indictment. These arrests and charges were centered around the online listing site known as “Backpage.com,” that Lacey and Larkins’ owned and sold, but had retained a vested interest in.
The online listing site in question had been for a long time plagued with allegations for being a conduit for the sell of illicit sex, and possibly even sex trafficking.
Lacey and Larkin are not unfamiliar with the experience of being arrested. Back in 2007 the pair were arrested on which was found to be grand jury warrants derived from spite, which Lacey and Larkin would claim was instigated by Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona sheriff. This arrest was targeted at Phoenix New Times, a publication that Lacey and Larkin formed together in 1972. Michael Lacey, a New Jersey native, and Jim Larkin, a Phoenix native, both dropped out of their respective colleges before endeavoring on their publication careers.
As a result of the 2007 arrest, Lacey and Larkin filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County for wrongful arrest. The pair won that lawsuit in a $3.75 million settlement with the county. This settlement would be the seed money to start their Frontera Fund foundation, which was aimed to disperse funds to various Latin-American organizations in the Arizona area.
The April 6, 2018 arrest however appears to be attached to charges that are convincingly more iron-clad than those of their 2007 arrest. The pair were both charged with money laundering, with Larkin also receiving counts of facilitating prostitution and conspiracy. They have both pled not guilty. Some were delighted about the arrests and the shutting down of the Backpage.com page. Read more: Jim Larkin | Twitter and Village Voice Media | Wikepedia
This would include Senator John McCain, and his wife Cindy McCain, whom had personal issues with Lacey and Larkin due to things that the pair published about the McCains. John McCain was quoted saying, “The seizure of the malicious sex marketplace Backpage.com marks an important step forward in the fight against human trafficking.”
Lacey and Larkin were also arrested in 2016 on pimping charges, brought upon them by then California Attorney General, Kamala Harris. These charges were subsequently dismissed. The pair have spent millions fighting cases that were filed against their Backpage.com site, which they say has always been a blatant encroachment on their First Amendment rights.
Lacey’s attorney, Paul Cambria, who has presided over many cases involving prolific porn publisher Larry Flynt, is determined to fight vigorously for Lacey, as quoted, “Any time that the government shuts down a major form of speech, it has a chilling effect. We don’t believe that the government’s actions are constitutional, and we intend to fight them vigorously.”