Online Prostitution In SD County Shifts Websites

Craigslist Censored Its Adult Services Section Last Friday

Sex is still selling in San Diego County, days after Craigslist voluntarily took down its Adult Services section.

Facing legal pressure and social advocates, the website this weekend took down its Adult Services section, which was praised by Susan Munsey of GenerateHope. GenerateHope is a group that sponsors housing and rehabilitation for victims of sexual trafficking.

"The Craigslist move is fantastic," said Munsey. "I think it's an acknowledgement to the rest of the world that yes, this is happening."

However, local law enforcement sources told 10News the sex trade has simply shifted to Craigslist's Casual Encounters section.

They have also noticed a surge of ads in a handful of other websites. At another classified ad site, there were 300 postings on Monday on San Diego's adult section, compared to 90 last Monday.

One posting even mentions Craigslist, urging people to visit another site.

"They won't be heading back to the streets because online is where the women perceive they are safer," said Munsey.

Munsey also said online operations are also better for the pimps.

"They have a lot more control when they can sit in a hotel room with five girls each with their own website," she said.

According to Munsey, many of the girls are underage, which is a concern that will not be solved with the Craigslist action.

"We're looking at symptoms, but the problem is still there," said Munsey.

Munsey predicts online prostitution will keep shifting to other sites unless there are tougher laws and more education and rehabilitation for women.