Sunday, January 25, 2009

Potential Career Alternative: Web 2.Ohhh

Cross-posted from Law is Cool

At this time of year, as the legal community battens down the hatches against recession, and law students gaze over the desolate, frigid waste of their summer employment prospects, some might be tempted to give in to despair and seek alternative employment. Such people would be well advised to avoid any job containing the words “escort”, “Craigslist”, or “Airport Motor Inn room 232″.

On January 1st, a 22-year-old law student at the University of Michigan and a 44-year-old U-M professor pleaded no contest to charges of using a computer to commit a crime, reduced from charges of solicitation and prostitution. They received deferred sentences, conditional upon each seeking counseling and paying $1280 in fines and costs. The charges stemmed from the student’s report that the professor had assaulted her during a sexual encounter. Police indicated that the student had advertised sex acts on Craigslist, AdultFriendFinder and Eros, a “high class escort” site. She participated in as many as nine liaisons in a two-month period, at $250 apiece.

Last week a second University of Michigan student was charged with soliciting prostitution online, after she arranged to meet an undercover agent at an Ann Arbour Motel. She claimed that she advertised sex acts online “to help cover tuition costs”.

Police confirm that prostitutes are increasingly using the internet to ply their wares. Craigslist is doing its part to combat this burgeoning industry: the online giant forbids posting ads that promote prostitution, human trafficking, child exploitation and other illegal activities. Craigslist has filed 14 lawsuits against parties who violated their terms of service.

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