If Craigslist thought the suicide of the "Craigslist
Killer," as well as the closure of its "Erotic Services" section (months ago) would move the focus of state Attorneys General away from it, it was sadly mistaken. The site was sent a letter on Tuesday demanding it shut down its new "Adult Services" section by 17 state AGs.
When Craigslist first proposed the "Adult Services" section as a replacement to the "Erotic Services" sections, it stated that it would have employees police the section, ensuring that no illegal ads were posted. The letter from state AGs said that Craigslist is not sufficiently blocking potentially illegal ads promoting prostitution and child trafficking.
Philip Markoff, the 'Craigslist Killer'
The 17 states whose attorneys general signed the letter are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
In the letter, the AGs recognized that Craiglist might lose revenue as a result of a closure. However, they added,
"No amount of money, however, can justify the scourge of illegal prostitution and the suffering of the women and children who will continue to be victimized, in the market and trafficking provided by Craigslist."
Philip Markoff, 24, committed suicide in his cell Aug. 15, a day after what would have been his first wedding anniversary (his fiancee broke off their engagement after he was arrested). Markoff had been charged with the fatal shooting of Julissa Brisman of New York City and in the armed robbery of a Las Vegas woman, both of which occurred in April of 2009 in Boston, Mass. hotels. Both encounters were "facilitated" by Craigslist.
In addition to the above AGs, Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley released a separate letter Tuesday to Craigslist. It also called for the removal of adult services.
"You should continue to build on your success in connecting users to each other and providing a forum for the exchange of legal goods and services."