Judge calls Craigslist lawsuit against McMaster premature

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Craigslist against South Carolina's attorney general, who is trying to prosecute the Internet company for carrying ads for prostitution.

The judge said in his ruling Friday that no one at Craigslist has been charged with a crime and it was premature to decide whether its activities were exempt from prosecution. Craigslist has denied knowingly carrying ads for prostitution.

"This is a victory for the Constitution and law enforcement," said Attorney General Henry McMaster, who intends to continue investigating Craigslist's connection to prostitution.

Phone and e-mail messages left Friday for an attorney and a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based Craigslist were not immediately returned.

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