Teens: 'Craigslist Helped Turn Us Into Sex Slaves'

'Men paid to rape me,' says 17-year-old
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2010 3:08 AM CDT
Updated Aug 9, 2010 5:27 AM CDT
Craigslist found Craig Newark.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Two young women are charging that Craigslist helped turn them into sex slaves after they were repeatedly "sold" against their will on the popular website. "Craigslist makes horrific acts like this so easy to carry out, and the men who arrange them very rich," said one of the teens, who said she was forced into prostitution at the age of 11. The two women detailed their lives as Craigslist sex workers in a Washington Post ad in the form of an open letter to site founder Craig Newmark. The ad appeared as a federal judge blocked an attempt by Craigslist to halt an investigation into its "adult services" section.

Both women said they had been trafficked as underaged prostitutes on the site. A pimp "put my picture on Craigslist, and I was sold for sex by the hour at truck stops and cheap motels, 10 hours with 10 different men every night. This became my life," read an account by "AK." Men "answered the Craigslist advertisements and paid to rape me." The ad was partly financed by Fair Fund, which works with young prostitutes and described Craigslist as "the Wal-Mart of online sex trafficking." Craigslist's chief executive, Jim Buckmaster, said "scapegoating advertising services is a very unfortunate misdirection of attention and energy" from more effective ways to battle the problem.

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