Wausau Police Investigating Online Prostitution

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

The popular website Craigslist can be very helpful to find a job, rent an apartment, or even buy some furniture.

But now it's also being used to set up sexual encounters, sometimes for money.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart of Illinois belives Craigslist is the largest source of prostitution in the country and as a result is suing the business.

And internet prostitution could be happening right here in central Wisconsin.

Craigslist is an online community filled with local classifieds and forums for more than 550 cities, including Wausau, in dozens of countries.

Users can check out the website for free to find jobs, housing, goods, local activities and even romance.

But some users, including in the Wausau area, are using the site to solicit sex for money and money for sex.

It's happening all over the country, and the Wausau Police Department is getting involved.

"Hopefully people aren't getting into this anyways, but for those involved they need to be aware that they should stop this behavior and law enforcement is investigating," said Dep. Chief Bryan Hilts.

Hilts belives in the age of the internet, the anonymity it provides gives people the courage they otherwise wouldn't have to use these services.

Of course personal ads and even erotic services on Craigslist are legal, but when money gets involved everything changes because a law is broken.

"In regards to Craigslist providing the service, certainly we would discourage any business or individual from providing a service that encourages illegal behavior," Hilts said.

Although you may not realize it and although it doesn't happen often, law enforcement occasionally receives complaints of prostitution throughout the area.

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