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03-05-09, 09:26 PM #1
Sheriff: Sues Craigslist, Calling It The Largest Source Of Prostitution
Chicago - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on Thursday announced a lawsuit against Craigslist, calling the popular Web site "the single largest source of prostitution in the nation."
Dart wants a federal judge to order Craigslist to eliminate its "Erotic Services" section, and wants reimbursement for the tax dollars spent paying officers to investigate and arrest those responsible for prostitution ads.
"Craigslist is the single largest source of prostitution in the nation," Dart said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. "Missing children, runaways, abused women and women trafficked in from foreign countries are routinely forced to have sex with strangers because they're being pimped on Craigslist."
The sheriff's office said the prostitution postings appear on the most visited section of the Web site, which draws 30 million new ads and more than 9 billion viewings per month.
"Craigslist unabashedly facilitates prostitution, then ultimately makes a profit from it," Dart said. He said Craigslist generates an $80 million in annual revenues.
There is also a warning reading, "Human trafficking and exploitation of minors are not tolerated - any suspected activity will be reported to law enforcement."
The Erotic Services page itself features a variety of suggestive or explicit advertisements, some of them offering erotic massages or incalls and outcalls, and many featuring pornographic pictures.
The sheriff's office listed some of the headlines for some recent ads that had been responded to or flagged by Cook County vice officers:
• "15 min $50 roses … 1 hour $150 roses"
• "Young – tight - & - just – right – 4 – you (exit I-94 Old Orchard Rd: Skokie)"
• "Due to the way the economy is I am willing to do almost anything to get money."
• "Are you looking to make some good money in this tough economy. Minimum pay is $25 per hour … performing duties specified in Naughty Nannies handbook."
• "Busty blonde pregnant beauty … 28 … Barrington Rd & I-90"
• "Teens for cash … $100 quickie"
Dart said just this week, ads appeared offering women in exchange for "$350 in roses," and an ad from a man who hoped to pay to "explore a daddy-daughter sexual relationship."
Sheriff's vice officers recently posted ads for sex pretending to be a 15-year-old girl, which drew several responses, one of them from a convicted sex offender, a sheriff's news release said.
Craigslist offers a page with frequently asked questions about the Erotic Services page. It says the page "was established at the request of craigslist users, who were tired of seeing ads for escort services, sensual massage, adult web cams, phone sex, erotic dancing, adult websites, nude housecleaning, etc mixed into the regular personals and services categories."
The page says that newspapers and the telephone yellow pages have featured similar ads for decades. However, Craigslist says it donates all net revenue from its Erotic Services ads to charity, unlike newspapers and telephone books which profit directly from them.
San Francisco-based Craigslist did not immediately return e-mail and telephone requests for comment on Dart's lawsuit Thursday morning. Telephone and e-mail messages also were left for the company's public relations firm.
Erotic Services ads posted on Craigslist have resulted in several prostitution arrests nationwide.
Federal prosecutors charged a New York man in November with being a violent pimp who forced young girls and women into prostitution, alleging he advertised the services of women between the ages of 15 and 20. And in January, two Wisconsin women were charged with misdemeanor prostitution after allegedly offering sex for money in Craigslist ads.
Craigslist had reached an agreement in November with attorneys general in Connecticut, Illinois and several other states that called for the company to crack down on prostitution ads. The Connecticut Attorney General's office had contacted the Web site and after receiving several complaints about posted photographs depicting nudity.
Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist's CEO, said at the time of the agreement that it would allow legitimate escort services to continue advertising, while discouraging illegal activity by requiring anyone posting "Erotic Services" ads to provide a working phone number and pay a fee with a valid credit card.
03-07-09, 12:00 AM #2
I've busted more than a couple hookers that had set up their "appointments" with the johns over craigslistThe world would be much cleaner if blind people carried brooms instead of sticks.
At communion, when the priest says "Body of Christ", I say "Thanks, I've been working out", then I grab the cracker and run back to my seat
An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he cant get it wrong.
They've got us surrounded? Good. Now we can fire in any direction. Those bastards won't get away this time.
03-07-09, 12:05 AM #3
It's just a free version of the "Escort Service" ads in the Yellow Pages and newspaper Enterainment sections.
Perhaps worded more explicitly, but all that was implied in the "Escort Service" Yellow Page ads. Seems to me like the only thing REALLY new here is that it's electronic instead of paper.
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