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Judge Throws Out Suit Over Sex Ads

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge in St. Louis has thrown out a lawsuit accusing Village Voice Media Holdings LLC of knowingly allowing a pimp to advertise a teenage prostitute’s sexual services on one of its websites.

The suit filed last year sought at least $150,000 in damages. It claimed that Backpage.com, a website similar to Craigslist, knew prostitution was being facilitated on the site but did nothing to stop it.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Mummert ruled that no evidence was offered to show that Backpage.com was responsible for an innocent person’s injury. Mummert also ruled that Congress has declared websites like Backpage.com to be immune from suits arising from such injuries.

Phone messages left with attorneys for the girl and for Village Voice Media were not returned.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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