Backpage.com Trial Resumes After COVID-19 Scare
The trial of the former operators of the classified site Backpage.com is continuing after one of the defendants tested negative for the coronavirus. Witness testimony resumed in front of a jury in federal court in Phoenix Friday morning. Michael Lacey, James Larkin, Padilla and three other Backpage employees are on trial on prostitution facilitation charges in what authorities say was a scheme to knowingly sell ads for sex. All six have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Andrew Padilla, who worked as the site’s operations manager, had not been feeling well when he was present in court earlier this week. The judge ordered a recess so that Padilla could get a COVID-19 test.