JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Missouri’s attorney general has joined dozens of other states in asking Craigslist.com to prove it is living up to its promise to block advertisements for prostitution and other illegal activity.
One year ago, Craigslist, under pressure from attorneys general from across the country, agreed to drop its erotic services section, to manually screen for nude photos and ads for illegal activities, and promised to donate proceeds from ads in its “adult services” section to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
But Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and 38 other attorneys generals have monitored Craigslist, and say the prostitution ads are still there.
The attorneys general filed a subpoena seeking evidence that Craigslist has lived up to its promises.
“Despite craigslist’s promises, advertisements for illegal activities like prostitution appear to be as prominent as ever,” Koster said in a statement. “It is time for craigslist to provide evidence to us that they have put procedures in place to prevent the selling of illegal activities through their site. Attorneys General from around the nation demanded changes in how craigslist does business, and we intend to hold them accountable.”
The announcement came a week after a federal grand jury in St. Louis indicted a St. Louis man on extortion charges involving Craigslist. In that case, Ethan Mikeal Avalos, 26, allegedly threatened a medical professional who had paid for sexual encounters through Craigslist. Avalos is charged with one felony count of extortion by interstate communications.