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Backpage founders lose bid for new judge at upcoming trial

Gavel shot
Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 19:59:58-04

PHOENIX (AP) — An appeals court rejected a bid by the former operators of Backpage.com to recuse an Arizona judge from presiding over their Aug. 23 trial on prostitution facilitation charges.

The former site operators argued Judge Susan Brnovich should be recused because of statements made by her husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, about the now-shuttered classified ad site.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded Judge Brnovich made no clear error in rejecting the recusal request made by Backpage founders Michael Lacey, James Larkin and other former site managers.

They argued letting Judge Brnovich remain on the case could lead people to question the court's impartiality.