Federal Judge Declares Mistrial in Trial Against Backpage Founders

The Federal Docket

September 27, 2021

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.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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