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Human Trafficking

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NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor in closing arguments at the sex-trafficking trial of R. Kelly urged jurors on Thursday to make the R&B superstar “pay” for his alleged crimes, while a defense lawyer told them they've been misled by opportunistic accusers about consensual relationships.

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PHOENIX (AP) — A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday at the trial of the founders of the lucrative classified site Backpage.com on charges of facilitating prostitution and laundering money after deciding prosecutors had too many references to child sex trafficking in a case where no one faced such a charge.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Police in California would no longer be able to arrest anyone for loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution under a bill approved by state lawmakers on Friday amid debate over whether the move would help or harm sex trafficking victims.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A chance encounter with a former Marine beset by delusions of child sex trafficking ultimately led to the massacre of four members of a Florida family, including a mother holding her baby boy, a sheriff said Thursday.

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PHOENIX (AP) — Lawyers defending the founders of the classified site Backpage.com against allegations they knowingly ran ads for prostitution told jurors Wednesday that the adult service ads published by their clients were controversial but ultimately protected by the First Amendment.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The third week of the R. Kelly sex-trafficking trial in New York City saw more accusers — including for the first time, a man — coming forward with array of disturbing allegations and a former assistant providing a glimpse into how he lorded over his inner circle. The accusers have testified without using their full real names to protect their privacy.

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PHOENIX (AP) — Two alternative newspaper publishers and others who helped found and manage the lucrative classified site Backpage.com knew that the overwhelming majority of their revenue came from prostitution ads, but they tried to conceal it as the firm raked in hundreds of millions of dollars, prosecutors alleged in opening arguments of the trial on Friday.

PHOENIX (AP) — Two journalists who founded an alternative weekly newspaper in Phoenix and later created the lucrative classified site Backpage.com are scheduled to go on trial Wednesday on charges of facilitating prostitution and laundering money in what authorities say was a scheme to knowingly sell ads for sex on the site.

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