In Pheonix, a Grand Jury for the federal government had the hearing for James Larkin and Michael Lacey. The two men were the founders of Backpage.com, the site that had been in the media for some time for being a site that was allegedly allowing human trafficking of children. The lawyers for the two men have said that they do expect indictments to be forthcoming.
Shortly afterwards, the men began donating to the Phoenix New Times. They also made political contributions to certain local politicians at the state level. Here is a breakdown of how much they have donated to date.
– They contributed $162,200 after 2013.
– Additionally, they donated $60,200.
– Then they gave $10,600 to US Rep Krysten Sinema as well.
During that same time, $10,800 was given to the direct family members of Backpage.com executives. Named now as John Brunst and Scott Spear. These same people have also made contributions to the state in the amounts of $195,700. Many wonder what the donations were all about. It has led to much speculation that is very upsetting for all involved.
No communications have come from the people that have made donations. A spokesperson for Backpage.com when asked if the money donated to the site would be returned, was quoted as saying that the donations “have already been spent.” Everyone has wondered where it was spent and how that money was used, and what it was potentially used for after all of the drama that had occurred. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://www.facebook.com/jimlarkin53
The Frontera Fund was created allegedly, from these very donations, which has sparked even more legal questions for the whole thing. Around 2007, the pair were arrested by Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff back then. Afterwards the two men sued the county and used that money won from that suit to fund the Frontera Fund. It offers legal assistance financially for those that are victims.
Any group that has ever tried to come up against a site that is claimed absolution from the crimes committed on their site has always had a hard time. It is a difficult situation for those that need to defend themselves against all this.
This entire situation has caused a lot of headlines about human rights, children’s rights and freedom of speech. Nobody has come out well through the whole fiasco. One thing is stunningly upsetting for most though. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Larcey | Crunchbase
The site has had a reaction to this entire thing that failed to emote and empathy for the victims. Many wonder how or why this could be. Freedom of speech has always been used as the reason for the defense, but still, given that children were allegedly harmed in this case, why would the site’s CEO not wish to convey concern? It is a question that still bothers everyone involved in this story.
What the future holds for the people involved, one can only imagine, but one aspect is certainly clear. A stand has been clearly taken for the rights of those that had no voice. The children had their day in court at long last.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737