Supreme Court Tosses Suit Against Backpage.com

WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Supreme Court put an end Monday to claims by a trio who say that they were trafficked for underage sex via Backpage.com, the embattled classifieds website.

Jane Doe Nos. 1, 2 and 3 had petitioned for a writ of certiorari after the First Circuit in Boston affirmed dismissal of their case last year.

The appeal drew amicus briefs from multiple groups including the Human Trafficking Institute and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but the Supreme Court turned them down Monday. Per their custom, the justices did not issue any comment on the brief order.

The case had been one of many battlefields for the classifieds website, which faces a congressional subpoena that the Supreme Court refused to block in the fall.

Backpage brought successful challenges against states that outlawed its business model, but a federal judge ruled last year that the company lacked standing to fight the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015, the latest federal iteration of the congressional Trafficking Victims Protection Act, of 2000.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris charged Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer and two shareholders in October with running a “pimping conspiracy,” but a Sacramento judge tossed the charges last month.