The site has been under fire by law enforcement officials across the nation almost since its inception because of the ease by which it connects prostitutes to johns. The revealed that prostitutes operate on the Web with little fear of law enforcement.
For example:. Many more sites exist, and some, like craigslist, also cater to individual cities.
The media relations arm of craigslist did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment for this story. Local law enforcement officials acknowledged that resources to combat prostitution on the Web are limited. Unlike streetwalkers, who solicit in person and in public, escorts on the Web can talk to johns and arrange meetings in private, out of view of law enforcement. Detectives are limited to setting up sting operations, which Hughes said her unit does frequently.
But she said her unit cannot keep up with the sheer of advertisements. Most resources available to combat sex crimes on the Web are devoted to child prostitution.
Henderson police have one detective who patrols local sites looking for advertisements from children or teens or from those seeking them. At least seven adults have been arrested since the effort began this year.
Hughes said her detectives are always scanning the sites for underage children and act immediately when they see on the Web. Beyond child prostitution, escorts engender a host of other crimes, such as trick rolls, robberies, assaults and murder. In Las Vegas, a local couple accused of slaying year-old Nichole Yegge were also accused of prostituting her on craigslist last year. Markoff is accused of luring the women to his hotel rooms through craigslist.
Only public pressure will work, she said.
Legal avenues have proved fruitless. A federal judge threw out the suit. Other efforts have been met with similar because federal law protects Web sites and content posted by its users.
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