April 24th, 2010
12:51 AM ET

Man says Craigslist post offering to sell kids was a joke

New York State Police have arrested a man accused of posting his children for sale on Craigslist.

Joshua Stagnitto told police it was a joke, said Investigator Bryan R. Blum of New York State Police in Rochester. Stagnitto turned himself in when he got transportation to come to the police station, Blum said.

Stagnitto, 24, of Brockport, is charged with one count of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

Blum told CNN the charge against Stagnitto stems from the fact "that he indicated a baseless allegation of a crime which caused public alarm" and triggered an investigation.

A member of the public called child protective services earlier in April after seeing the post. Authorities began a probe, and had to "make sure that if there are two kids for sale, that they be tracked down and nothing happened to them," Blum said.

When questioned by police, Stagnitto admitted he put the posting on Craigslist, the investigator said.

The two children remain with Stagnitto and their mother, whom Blum described as Stagnitto's "significant other."

Police do not believe the children are in any danger, he said.

If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Stagnitto could face up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, Blum said.

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soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. james

    **The two children remain with Stagnitto and their mother, whom Blum described as Stagnitto's "significant other."** This writer is a GENIUS!!!

    April 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ellen

    Ummmm, I believe the Craigslist ad that he posted said "LOL!" after the ad!!

    Give me a break!! I'm sure this will be dismissed by the judge in court. Guess no one is allowed to have a sense of humor anymore. Sheeshh!!

    April 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bobbi

    #7. That is too funny! My mom used to tell me she wasn't my mother, that she came from India! LOL (she's dark complected) How times have changed, huh? Anyway, thanks for your comment. Best laugh I've had in a long long time.

    April 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bill hensen

    Again, we see Nazi America at work. Charge the psychotic government agents (poilce officers, DA, etc.) with wasting our hard earned tax dollars and let them pay the bill. When are we going to return to common sense. Yet another example of the police using any means possible to charge someone iwth a crime, just like Soviet Russia, China and others. God Bless a Free America

    April 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jesse

    Obviously this guy was not paying attention when Principal Skinner said it was only legal to do these sorts of things in whatever Springfield the Simpsons live in as well as Mississippi.

    April 24, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. for sale

    I hope the kids weren't old enough to comprehend what happened. Having your dad list you for sale on Craigslist doesn't usually go down well socially. It's bully candy.

    I hope the dad got his a- kicked by the mom when she found out. You want to joke about your kids? Ok, but don't do it on an international website everybody can look at. What if the wife had "joked" and put an add up selling him? I bet he wouldn't be happy. Don't air dirty laundry.

    When the consequences of something that is real is really bad, it has to be investigated. The guy was just dumb.

    April 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ann

    The kids were probably being sassy and the old "I'll just drop you kids off at the orphanage" speech didn't cut it. Dad puts the little monsters for sale online, shows the, and since the internet is reality confirmed, boom! Two quiet kids.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tamara

    Louie I'm with you 100%...Why don't the police spend our tax money on REAL crimes!

    April 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Shirleyp

    Hey AGEEK, I work for social service and we really hate malishous reports. No social worker I know has time to go out and hassle people just for kicks, however we have to check out all reports. The reason people are allowed to report without giving an ID is because sometimes we wouldn't hear from them if they had to tell us who they are. What you say though does make a lot of sence and nothing we haven't said our selves. There may be a child out there being abused who really needs help, but someone who can call w/o actually giving a name is more likely to call under-cover. If it were the other way around, the childs situation might go unreported and the child would have no one to speak up adn tell what's going on.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GUEST

    So this guy posted a silly ad on April Fools Day and at the bottom stated "This is a Joke"–and he's now being prosecuted in criminal court. Seems to me it should be the police officer, CPS agent and DA who are prosecuted–for trying to ruin this father's life while wasting huge amounts of the public's money.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tia

    This stunt will likely be psychologically harmful to the kids. As a child, my parients told that if I were ever to be kidnapped that they would not pay the ransom. That really affected me. Deeply.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. onan

    no joke,why would any parent do that when everybody knows of all the pedophiles out there.my question would be was it really a joke or was he trying to make some money.if the child protection services hadn't been alerted,what would have happened.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jacob

    While I am generally in favor of getting the joke, in this case the sad fact is that such an ad needs to be investigated, because it could be real. There are some really twisted, and stupid, people out there.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nnn

    Yeah, all you legal scholars who are upset because no one can take a joke, this kind of thing happens for real every day in the world and with increasing frequency here in the US. About nine months ago a woman sold her 5 year old daughter to a man for drugs. The last pictures of her are of that man carrying her into a hotel room. She was raped and murdered. So get a grip on reality. This guy may have been joking, but there are plenty of people who are not and you would want the police to ignore this?

    April 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Concerned

    I believe what a lot of you are failing to recognize is that in the real world outside everyones bubble, is called "Human Trafficking". He may have been joking, but before he came out and admited it... would you bet your childrens lives on it? Yes it was a stupid joke, but in the previous years we have seen some of the dumbest criminals and some of the most heinous crimes. What would you say if the headline read this instead? "Children sold on Craigslist. Police did not investigate on hunch it may be a joke!" The world is not black and white, it is gray! I think the man should be punished... not the maximum but punished still.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
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