Judge Declares Mistrial At Trial Of Backpage.com Founders

Sep 14, 2021

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

In this Jan. 10, 2017, file photo, former Backpage.com owners, James Larkin, left, and Michael Lacey wait on Capitol Hill in Washington to appear before a Senate hearing. A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the trial of the founders of the lucrative classified site Backpage.com on charges of facilitating prostitution and laundering money after deciding prosecutors had too many references to child sex trafficking in a case where no one faced such a charge.
Credit (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

  

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 judge has scheduled an Oct. 5 status hearing.