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Backpage trial resumes after defendant's negative COVID test

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Posted at 1:05 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 16:05:54-04

PHOENIX (AP) — 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 downtown Phoenix Friday morning. Andrew Padilla, who worked as the site’s operations manager, was present a day after not feeling well. The judge ordered a recess so that Padilla could get a COVID-19 test.

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.

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