March 24th, 2010
12:16 PM ET

Craigslist's bad week: Wife, child for sale; sex for tickets

It hasn't been a good couple days for Craigslist.

The popular online classified ad site is back in the news with arrests and court cases stemming from some strange and disturbing sales on the site - someone offering sex for World Series tickets, someone's offer their wife for and someone else offering their son.

The cases could have big implications for Craigslist and its reputation, which in the past has battled public relations woes over sexually explicit posts and prostitution rings.

Craigslist is center-stage today in a Philadelphia courtroom where jury selection began in the case of a woman accused of offering an undercover cop sexual favors for World Series tickets, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.

Prosecutors allege she wrote in her Craigslist ad that she was a buxom blonde who desperately needed tickets to baseball's biggest event, sent sexually explicit photos to the cop and then made graphic suggestions when they finally met at a bar. The woman claims she was just being creative in her ad to get her spouse to take her to the game.

Authorities are also now investigating a Craigslist incident in which a man allegedly forcefully prostituted his wife for more than a year and said he would hurt their child if she didn't go along with him, according to CNN affiliate WLS. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart filed a lawsuit against Craigslist last year, saying it had become the "largest source of prostitution in America." He said he was going to notify the company of the incident, but didn't expect a response.

And in Washington state, police are trying to track down a father who they believe was trying to sell his son, Gavin, on the Internet, according to CNN affiliate KXLY. The price? $5,000. And police don't think its a joke.

In the ad, the man calls himself a single father and says, “Gavin is a great kid but I can no longer afford to take care of him."

"He doesn't fuss very much but when he does he just screams for hours," the ad continues. "I usually just put him in the closet until he stops and that usually works."

A woman who saw the ad alerted police.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Paris Miller

    This is sick! What is wrong with people!

    March 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Norm

    It's not a good idea to even do anything like this as a joke anymore. The police are desperately looking for revenue and they'll invent any reason to arrest people.
    The internet is a whole new world thats opened up for them. it's a shame, but it was only a matter of time.

    March 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nancy

    This is another reason why prostitution should be legalized. This doesn't happen in Nevada!

    March 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BSH

    Consensual relations between adults should be off-limits for police.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Iris

    "... someone's offer their wife for and someone..."

    Classy, CNN.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    How is this the fault of Craig's list? These losers deserve to be prosecuted, but to infer it is the fault of a valuable free community based web service is ridiculous. CL may need to shut down the Personals section for their site as a result – Too bad as there is a lot of legitimate value in their service. Me, I collect Pinball Machines and love watching CL for them coming up for sale – I also furnished my home very nicely after my divorce for a fraction of what it would have cost retail... Finally I have my current management job w/ a major Colorado University and both of my current vehicles thanks to Craig's List. Too bad as is so often the case a handful of morons will ruin a good thing for millions

    March 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. myuzickman

    "It's not a good idea to even do anything like this as a joke anymore."

    I guess I am confused; was it ever a good idea to offer your wife or child for sale?

    March 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    @Norm... How are the police inventing reasons to arrest people here. Prostitution and human trafficking are illegal already. The police are enforcing the laws... Craigslist should have been the one reviewing and deleting these ads before putting them on public display. The police would have never gotten involved. Someone should be keeping an eye on this if Craigslist isn't going to.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brooke

    This doesn't happen in Nevada??? Women and children aren't sold or prostitued against their will there? Is that why the US Justice Dept named Las Vegas one of the top 17 destinations for human trafficking victims?

    March 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |