Craigslist a very popular internet website has decided to end its “erotic service” section. This is in response to intense pressure from the media and the government, after the Phillip Markoff incidents. While most people are following the Markoff story, a more subtle change in internet sex talk has been rightly overshadowed. Murder is the most serious charge you can be facing in Massachusetts.
Photo taken by Ian Britton: http://www.ianbritton.co.uk/
When a person is charged with prostitution they are charged with sexual conduct for a fee. In order for the government to prove that a person is guilty of sexual conduct for a fee it must prove two elements. First, that the defendant either engaged, or agreed to engaged, or offered to engage, in sexual conduct with another person. And second, that the sexual conduct was or was to be done in return for a fee. Both a customer and the prostitute can be charged.
Police has tried to find ways to monitor internet postings offering sexual services for a while now. The difficulty for police came up when people got creative with their wording making it hard to arrest and prosecute people based on their postings. People would use words such as massage services to slip by the law. Some of these postings would go even further and say “topless”, “naked” or even “special” massages. Law enforcement knew exactly what most of these posts were trying to sell and when police set up stings their theories were confirmed.
Craigslist taking down its “erotic services” section marks a significant change to the way that sex is marketed online. Police has been trying hard to shut down these types of interactions and now because of the serious allegations Markoff is accused of it has happened. There are still a lot of other internet sites that people use to market and find sexual services, so it is not the end. However, Craigslist was one of the most popular websites, and for now the sex talk has gone silent.
Read more about the story from the New York Post
Report by ABC news
Report by the Worcester Telegram
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