updated 5/22/2009 3:58:51 PM ET 2009-05-22T19:58:51

A federal judge has blocked South Carolina's attorney general from prosecuting Craigslist executives for ads that lead to prostitution while the company pursues its lawsuit against the state.

U.S. District Judge Weston Houck ordered Attorney General Henry McMaster on Friday "to refrain from initiating or pursuing any prosecution against Craigslist or its officers" in relation to content posted on the site.

McMaster has garnered headlines by saying he would go after the Internet advertising company for aiding and abetting prostitution if the site leads to a prostitution case in South Carolina.

CEO Jim Buckmaster has filed a federal lawsuit against the prosecutor, claiming McMaster's threat against the company violates executives' constitutional rights.

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