Judge blocks prosecution of Craigslist officials

“A federal judge has temporarily blocked South Carolina’s attorney general and 16 solicitors from seeking to prosecute executives of Craigslist on prostitution or obscenity charges.

The consent order by U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck of Charleston, S.C., was an agreement reached earlier between Attorney General Henry McMaster’s office and lawyers for the popular Internet classified ad site.

McMaster spokesman Trey Walker said Friday the ruling doesn’t mean McMaster is backing away from prosecuting company officials if they knowingly allow South Carolina ads that solicit for prostitution or contain obscene pictures.

Those threats prompted Craigslist on Wednesday to file a federal lawsuit in Charleston against McMaster and the solicitors. As part of the suit, the San Francisco-based company asked for an immediate temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop any prosecution.”

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