Accusations of sex trafficking are serious and can lead to federal criminal charges. But recently the issue of using minors for sex trafficking has become a more public concern after 45 states across the nation allege that a particular website may be a portal for sex trafficking and internet crimes.
If a person is suspected of using the internet to perpetuate a crime, law enforcement may launch an investigation to determine if the allegations have any substance. And even though Wisconsin was not one of the 45 states, it appears that state officials are still investigating the situation with the website before making a public statement.
While the website itself does not promote a forum for any type of sex crime, many states' attorney generals believe that it can be used for unlawful web activity. According to the complaints, there are several posts on the website that may be advertising "adult services" provided by underage individuals.
The concern is that minors cannot legally consent to sex, so any postings that advertise as such could be considered unlawful internet activity. It appears that the website has already taken steps to reduce internet crimes by implementing certain policies.
But as states continue to investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of using the internet to perpetuate crimes like human trafficking, individuals who are unknowingly communicating or responding to ads involving minors could face criminal charges as well.
Being accused of a crime such as this can result in severe consequences if a conviction follows. It is important to understand what rights you have and take steps to protect those rights.
Source: Appleton Post-Crescent: "Website faces accusations of sex trafficking from 45 states, not including Wisconsin," Julie Strupp, Sept. 6, 2011