NEW YORK CITY - Craigslist was scheduled to meet Tuesday in New York with state attorney generals from Missouri, Illinois and Connecticut to discuss the ad site’s "Erotic Services" section, accused of being a haven for prostitution.
Law enforcement in the three states--as well as other states and cities--want to see the ad section taken down.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said his office found ads offering and seeking prostitution on Craigslist pages for various state regions and cities.
"Craigslist is allowing advertisements for illegal activities like prostitution on its site," Koster said in a statement. "It is blatant. It is irresponsible. It is illegal."
Craigslist has been under fire before for the ads, but the heat has turned up in the wake of allegations that Boston medical student Philip Markoff used the site to rob and kill women who offered such "erotic services" like sexual massage and prostitution. He was dubbed the "Craigslist Killer,"first charged with murder two weeks ago, and on Monday, the assault of a stripper in Rhode Island, reports New York's Daily News .
Speaking Tuesday on CBS-TV's "The Early Show," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal accused CL erotic services of enabling crimes such as the one Markoff is accused of.
He also added that Craigslist's defense that it is far from the only ad site featuring such sections is no defense at all.
As CNET reports, Craigslist's CEO Jim Buckmaster said in a spin-filled statement to media that the site "looks forward to meeting with the attorneys general, and anticipates making further progress toward the common goal of eliminating illegal activity from Craigslist, while preserving its full utility and benefit for tens of millions of law-abiding Americans who value and depend on Craigslist's free local community services in their everyday lives."
Prior to Markoff case, officials had been calling for changes on the site, including a lawsuit filled in Illinois by the Cook County Sherriff. As previously reported by AVN.com, Craigslist has also joined with some 40 attorneys general nationwide to develop a new posting process of phone numbers and credit card verification to stop ads for prostitution and other illegal sexual activities.
But it hasn't truly worked and it's not enough, officials have said, demanding the site take full responsibility and eliminate the erotic services section altogether.
Buckmaster has said in the past that, "Craigslist cannot be held liable, as a matter of clear federal law, for content submitted to the site by our users."
The matter may well be one for federal court to ultimately decide.