Online Sex Ad Allegedly Led to $11,000 Extortion

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – A 26-year-old St. Louis man extorted a man who used Craigslist to find a sexual partner, a federal grand jury said in an indictment. Ethan Mikeal Avalos is charged with threatening to expose a medical professional who paid for sexual encounters with a woman he contacted through Craigslist. The man paid him $11,500, the indictment states.




     After paying $8,000 through several payments in late 2008, prosecutors say, Avalos contacted the man again in November 2009 and demanded more money.
     When he delayed, Avalos allegedly sent him an email stating: “You are luckier than Tiger you were given the chance to have your big mistake kept away from your wife/media/practice.”
     The man agreed to make one last payment of $3,500 in December 2009 to end the threats, the indictment states. He allegedly gave Avalos the money on Dec. 29.
     Avalos is charged with one felony count of extortion by interstate communications. He faces up to 2 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted.
     Craiglist’s adult services section has drawn scrutiny from state attorneys general throughout the country who claim the section advertises prostitution.
     Craigslist agreed last year to monitor the section.

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