PHOENIX (AP) — A Feb. 22 trial has been scheduled for the founders of the classified site Backpage.com after the first attempt at trying them on prostitution facilitation and money laundering charges ended in a mistrial.
A judge had previously declared a mistrial after concluding prosecutors had too many references to child sex trafficking in a case where no one faced such a charge. Michael Lacey, James Larkin and four others were accused in a scheme to knowingly sell ads for sex.
Lacey and Larkin said the site never allowed ads for sex, tried to delete such ads and maintain its content was protected by the First Amendment.
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