Attorneys General Press Craigslist about Ads for Prostitution and Other Illegal Activities

We are pleased to relay this 5/4/09 news release from the office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster:

Attorney General Chris Koster to meet with craigslist — Koster to express concerns about ads for prostitution and other illegal activities; will demand stronger enforcement by company —

Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Chris Koster will meet with representatives of craigslist Tuesday in New York City to outline his concerns about advertisements for illegal erotic activities such as prostitution on craigslist. Koster will begin negotiations toward an agreement with the company to eliminate ads for prostitution on the site. Koster is representing a group of the nation’s Attorneys General at the meeting, along with the Attorneys General from Connecticut and Illinois.

“craigslist is allowing advertisements for illegal activities like prostitution on its site,” Koster said. “It is blatant. It is irresponsible. It is illegal.

“craigslist is responsible for the types of advertisements it allows, and it is imperative that craigslist agree to tougher restrictions and to remove ads for illegal activities from its site.”

Koster said his office has been investigating the site and has found many instances where advertisements remain on the site even after being “flagged” as illegal.

“Our investigators found advertisements that clearly were offering sex-for-money or seeking a sex-for-money relationship on craigslist’s Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia/Jefferson City and Springfield sites,” Koster said. “These arrangements advertised are not only illegal but dangerous, and we aim to stop this type of advertising in Missouri.”

See also:

Springfield Republican: “Woman’s murder in Boston hotel linked to Craigslist advertising of massage services” (4/16/09)

Springfield Republican: “R.I. police see similarity between Boston Craigslist slaying and attempted robbery at Warwick hotel” (4/17/09)

Media Daily: “Craigslist Claims Fewer ‘Erotic Services’ Ads Due To New
Listing Requirements, Defends Against Sheriff’s Lawsuit”

Last week, the Cook County sheriff sued Craigslist for creating a
public nuisance by facilitating prostitution. The lawsuit, which seeks
an injunction and monetary damages, alleges that the county recently
made 156 arrests, at a cost of around $105,000 after monitoring the

Wall Street Journal: “Craigslist Gets Tougher On ‘Erotic Services’ Ads”

New York Times: “As Prostitutes Turn to Craigslist, Law Takes Notice”

Springfield Republican: “Rape victim left for dead (update)” (12/27/08)

Polaris Project: “The Washington Post: A Paper Pimp?” (Part One)

Polaris Project: “The Washington Post: A Paper Pimp?” (Part Two)

Cincinnati: Coalition asks CityBeat to stop allowing promotion of prostitution through advertising

O Tempora, O Mores: “CityBeat’s Community Values” (6/22/08)
month ago there was a major prostitution raid in Cincinnati, southern
Indiana and northern Kentucky that shut down a number of Asian massage
parlors. These establishments were well advertised in CityBeat.

owners of the parlors/brothels were all of Asian descent. It was
determined by law enforcement the owners had brought young women into
the country for the sole purpose of prostitution. In an effort to give
the appearance of legality the owners stated they were merely receiving
100% of the money the ladies obtained for the legitimate massage and
any profiting by the women was up to those women. They further admitted
that was the only way the ladies were paid…

What really
bothers me is what touched off this debate. One of the indicted owners
of the Asian massage parlors admitted to the police that she had driven
40,000 miles this past year delivering girls to massage parlors
throughout the country…

These people are making a very large
amount of money by dealing in human trafficking aka slavery. If
CityBeat continues to run ads promoting this type of business, they are
turning a blind eye to a shameful problem.

Orlando Weekly Drops Adult-Services Ads in Wake of Police Sting; “Operation
Weekly Shame”

Orlando Sentinel: “3 from Orlando Weekly’s staff charged with aiding prostitution” (10/20/07)
MBI Director Bill Lutz said the unusual arrests had nothing to do with the newspaper’s freedom of speech.

don’t see a First Amendment issue here,” Lutz said. “This is strictly
an advertising company making money off of prostitution.”

…MBI has made 80 prostitution arrests since 2003 connected to advertisers in the Weekly, the agency said…

“We’ve never called anyone dealing with these ads who was not providing prostitution services,” [Cmdr. Paul Zambouros] said.

Orlando Sentinel: “Weekly’s publisher: Arrests are payback” (10/23/07)
the video comes out, it will be telling because our officers tell them
about specific sex acts they perform for money and ask how they can get
that across better to their clientele,” Zambouros said…

“First Amendment rights do not protect anyone from committing a crime,” he said.

Another Victory for NOW-NYC: New York Magazine Drops Sex Ads

Escort Prostitution: A Response to Tom Vannah, Editor of the Valley

Investigates Human Trafficking and Prostitution in the US; Valley
Advocate Advertises “Foreign Fantasies” Where “Everything Goes”