Backpage Criminal Conspiracy Finds Tony Ortega’s Fingerprints Everywhere

In what is to surely be felt as yet another blow to the pimps of the Backpage empire —and their spineless toadies like Tony Ortega – the U.S. District Judge Susan Brnovich who will be presiding at trial, announced she will not be stepping away from the criminal case charging Backpage executives with facilitating prostitution.

As we’ve previously reported, attorneys for James Larkin, who along with Michael Lacey previously ran the alternative weekly Phoenix New Times and Backpage child sex trafficking website, filed a motion in September demanding Brnovich recuse herself because of official statements decrying sex trafficking made by her husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Lacey, Larkin and other former executives of the now-defunct Backpage are facing a slew of charges accusing them of knowingly operating the classified advertising website as an online sex trafficking hub.

The indictment against the executives asserts they knowingly tailored their business to allow sex-for-cash transactions to clandestinely take place, while maintaining the deceitful patina of deniability which Tony Ortega systematically employed to help cover their tracks.

The motion by Backpage insisting Brnovich recuse herself cited as an example the recusal of Judge Mary Murguia from a federal civil rights case involving former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

This bit of news involving Sheriff Arpaio found us struck again by just how closely this Backpage scandal seems to highlight Tony Ortega’s own checkered history. 

Our readers will recall that Tony Ortega infamously published his “guide to assisting terrorists find Arizona’s best targets” was published in the Phoenix New Times under the auspices of Michael Lacey and James Larkin. 

Remember, too, that long before Tony Ortega rebranded himself as a religious bigot fabricating the flimsiest of pretenses with which to attack religions, he was cutting his teeth by making crude ad hominem attacks disguised as ‘humor’ against Maricopa County Sheriff – the very reason cited by Lacey and Larkin as to why judge Brnovich should be removed from their case. 

Judge Brnovich, however, correctly argued the case against Backpage differed from the case Lacey and Larkin cherry-picked as their example because in the Arpaio case, Janet Murguia’s organization had repeatedly mocked Sheriff Arpaio on its website. 

Nothing similar, she wrote, has happened with her husband of 23 years and the Backpage case.

We here at the blog understand only too well that jeering and slander have always been a hallmark of Tony Ortega and his associates. In refusing to let herself be associated with Tony Ortega’s hateful pattern of mockery and underhandedness, Judge Brnovich has shown herself to be exactly the sort of person we’d want ruling on this case. 

Free from bias, un-coopted by greed, and beholding to no puppet master Judge Susan Brnovich is the exact polar opposite of Tony Ortega in every way that counts. And with testimony scheduled to begin in April we hold out hope for what she might yet discover in this criminal cabal. 

After all, who knows what may come out in the wash when all is said and done? With Tony Ortega’s handiwork seemingly popping up at almost every level of the Backpage conspiracy, we can be sure he’s hoping the judge won’t be looking too closely at his dirty laundry — his fingerprints are everywhere.

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