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Craigslist wants back into SC lawsuit vs McMaster

Dec 30, 2010 1:59:00 PM - thestate.com
Craigslist wants a federal judge to reconsider his decision to dismiss its lawsuit against South Carolina's top prosecutor, arguing that Attorney General Henry McMaster's statements about continuing to investigate the online classified ads giant represent threats to employees.

A hearing on Craigslist's request is set for February.

Craigslist sued McMaster in 2009, after the prosecutor pushed for all adult services ads to be pulled from the company's South Carolina sites. A year earlier, after the arrest of a former Boston medical student charged with killing a masseuse he met on the website, McMaster had begun pressing Craigslist to stop allowing prostitution services ads.

Craigslist had offered to start screening ads to block illegal ones, but McMaster said he wanted all adult services ads removed Craigslist's South Carolina sites. That's when the company sued, saying Craigslist is protected from prosecution because it is not advertising for those services, merely providing a forum for advertising.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit in August, ruling that no one at Craigslist has been charged with a crime and that it was premature to decide whether its activities were exempt from prosecution. McMaster heralded the decision as a victory for the state's law enforcement but said that South Carolina's investigation into any prostitution-related claims regarding Craigslist was ongoing.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)