On September 14, 2021, a federal judge in Arizona declared a mistrial in the trial of the founders of Backpage.com, which involves charges of prostitution and money laundering. At issue was the prosecution’s repeated references to child sex trafficking, which none of the defendants were charged with. The judge had previously ruled that witnesses and other evidence could show some individuals were trafficked on the website, but the specifics of the alleged abuse was off-limits.
Backpage previously pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges in Texas, a former CEO has pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in California, and the sales director for the website pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges that Backpage gave free advertising to sex workers to prevent them from going to competitors’ sites.
The new trial has been set for October 5, 2021.
Click here to read the article from The Hill.