Last week, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo criticized as "half-baked" Craigslist's efforts to rid its site of sex. Wednesday, he was back on the attack, describing it as a haven for criminal enterprises, even as he announced the takedown of a Queens prostitution ring.
The arrests Wednesday underscore the inherent risks posed by Craigslist and, most importantly, the need for protections that are full-fledged, not half-baked. The two men who allegedly ran the operation, Scott Rosenberg45, of Massapequa, and Josef Davenport, 31, of Marine Park, Brooklynwere arrested early Wednesday, along with three others.
Two other suspects, however, got wind of their impending arrest, fled and are still being sought. Investigators tracked the ring from June to last December. At first, it advertised in the Village Voice and other local papers, then solely on Craigslist, the often accompanied by an x-rated photo and a phone to call for a "date," Cuomo said.
Cuomo said callers would be told which women were available, and the suspects were careful not to discuss sex. Instead, they used terms such as GFE, for girlfriend experience, and rock climbing, for partying with drugs. Rosenberg allegedly handled the daily operations while Davenport allegedly took care of the finances.
Rosenberg could not be reached for comment at his home. All seven suspects were charged with enterprise corruption and promoting prostitution and face up to 25 years in prison.
Just last month, medical student Philip Markoff was dubbed the "Craigslist Killer" after he was charged with shooting to death Manhattan masseuse Julissa Brisman in a Boston hotel after they met online. It also said posts in the new section would be reviewed by Craigslist employees to weed out for prostitution.
Cuomo, however, felt those measures were insufficient. Wednesday, Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist's chief executive officer, said the "Room Service Entertainment" operated "well before" Craigslist eliminated the Erotic Services category. Real Estate Technology Cars Columns.
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