Cook County

Judge Dismisses Backpage.com Lawsuit Against Cook County Sheriff

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A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against an Illinois sheriff who asked credit card companies not to do business with Backpage.com.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and Backpage got into a three-year battle because Dart asked Visa and MasterCard to stop providing payment services for any ads on the website.

Backpage sued in 2015, accusing Dart was illegally interfering with its business. A federal judge sided with Dart, finding he was protected by the First Amendment. An appeals court reversed that ruling. But Judge John Tharp on Thursday granted the sheriff's request to dismiss the lawsuit.

In April, federal authorities seized Backpage, accusing it of prostitution and human trafficking, and indicted its executives and owners.

Dart says the judge's decision is a "certain level of vindication." Backpage declined to comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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