Pressure to remove the category increased this spring after a Boston medical student was charged with killing a masseuse who authorities say he met through Craigslist. Two months ago, Cook County Illinois Sheriff Tom Dart filed a lawsuit alleging that Craigslist allowed the solicitation of prostitution and had created the "largest source of prostitution in America. It said that community moderation via its flagging system and its ability to trace posters electronically means that criminals are caught quickly.
Craigslist attorney Eric Brandfonbrener, appearing in federal court for a hearing on the Cook County lawsuit, acknowledged the Web site is eliminating the "erotic services" category. He told U. District Judge John Grady that Craigslist is undergoing changes he expects will satisfy the lawsuit's concerns.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the attorneys general of Connecticut and Missouri met with Craigslist officials last week seeking an end to they contended were advertisements for illegal sexual activities. Madigan's office said Wednesday such existing on the Craigslist Web site will expire in seven days.
We'll be watching and investigating critically to make sure this measure is more than just a name change," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal had brokered an agreement with Craigslist in November to crack down on prostitution .
In its statement, Craigslist said it has upped the charge for listing in the new "adult services" section. It currently doesn't cost anything to post most classified on the site.
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Instead, the company will replace it with an adult category and will hire an outside company to serve as monitor. Dart attorney Daniel Gallagher said he remained skeptical.
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