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Backpage executives seek recusal of judge in sexual ad case

Gavel court AP photo
Posted at 4:46 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 07:46:57-04

PHOENIX — Former executives of are seeking the recusal of the federal judge presiding over a case in which they're accused of knowingly publishing ads for sexual services.

Attorneys for Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin argue that statements made by the judge's husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, about the now-shuttered site create a situation in which the court's impartiality could be questioned.

They're seeking the recusal of Judge Susan Brnovich. The state attorney general's office declined to comment.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting the case, also declined to comment.

Lacey, Larkin and four others pleaded not guilty to the charges.