With the increased use of technology as a means to market and advertise certain illegal goods or services, it has become increasingly difficult for police to appropriately track down and prosecute prostitution over the internet. As every state in the United States except for Nevada has explicitly outlawed prostitution and the establishment of brothels, the act of selling or buying sex is widely considered illegal and punishable by serious penalties. However, online escort businesses have made this process less visible and identifiable than previous methods.
Perhaps one of the largest public sources of online prostitution that has been targeted by the police and state governments is the use of Craigslist as an advertising site for selling sex. Craigslist is an online equivalent of a message board or billboard. Individuals can post things that they are looking for or looking to sell with contact information, but overall anonymity.
The site only facilitates transactions, but does not provide a distinct means of fulfilling these agreements. Although law enforcement agencies have requested, to the compromise of the site’s management, that the site become more transparent, this site still provides generally untraceable advertising for pimps and prostitutes.
The online mechanisms in the underground sex industry can also be used to trade valuable information between clients and prostitutes, but without necessarily revealing outright illegal information or violating the law in the act itself. This can put law enforcement in a peculiar position in which there may not be sufficient viable information to prosecute an individual for the crime of either buying or selling sex, but they have a general idea of what kind of actions are going on.
There are legal restrictions that must be followed by law enforcement officers in order to properly prosecute suspects. If these standards are violated in the process of pursuing a criminal case, there may be serious consequences for the defendant. For more information concerning internet prostitution and the basic rights of suspects, contact a sex crimes attorney.