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Judge declares mistrial at trial of founders

Arizona Backpage Trial
Posted at 9:47 AM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 12:47:50-04

PHOENIX — A judge has declared a mistrial at the trial of the founders of the lucrative classified site on charges of facilitating prostitution and laundering money.

U.S. District Judge Susan Brnovich said Tuesday prosecutors had too many references to child sex trafficking in a case where no one faced such a charge.

Michael Lacey and James Larkin were accused of taking part in a scheme to knowingly sell ads for sex on the site.

Lacey and Larkin said the site never allowed ads for sex and used people and automated tools to try to delete such ads.

The new trial date was set for Oct. 5.