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Backpage.com Executive Pleads Guilty To Running Prostitution Ads

The sales and marketing director of Backpage.com has pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate prostitution. The site is accused of ignoring warnings to stop running prostitution ads.

Dan Hyer is the second Backpage.com employee to plead guilty in cases against the site in Arizona. Hyer said he participated in a scheme to give free ads to prostitutes in a bid to draw them away from competitors and win over their future business.

In all, six others affiliated with Backpage.com face charges in the case. As part of the plea, prosecutors will dismiss 67 other charges against Hyer. He faces up to five years in prison. Backpage.com is a Dutch-owned limited liability corporation, and officials say it kept its bank accounts and servers in Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.