Judge declares mistrial in Backpage prostitution case where teen claims she was raped

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Arizona has a federal judge a wrong declaration In the case against six former employees of lucrative online classifieds platform Backpage, who were accused of facilitating prostitution and money laundering through the site. U.S. District Judge Susan Branovich recognized that prosecutors had made too many references to child sex trafficking as they argued in their case, even though none of the six people at trial were accused of that crime, resulting in a jury Got prejudiced. Prosecutors mentioned trafficking in their case. The opening statement, and various witnesses, also mentioned the subject, something the judge said she “cannot and will not ignore.”

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Last week, the case featured emotional testimony from Jessica Svendgaard, who said that after escaping as a teenager, she and a series of pimps used the site to sell ads for prostitution.

“I would be raped for money,” Ms Svendgaard told the court, on the objections of the defense lawyers. Before the trial, it was agreed that prosecutors and their witnesses could show evidence that they were smuggled to the site, but did not dwell on details unrelated to the case for very long. “It looked like the government had abused this exemption,” Ms Branovich said on Monday.


None of the officers on the case are accused of knowing of Ms Svendgaard’s specific story, and admitted that her post broke the site’s rules about posting graphic photos and sexual solicitations.

All six Backpage personnel, including the site’s co-founders, pleaded not guilty to charges of prostitution, and four did so on charges of money laundering.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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