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Recent articles concerning:

Fed Law 2257, independent escort advertising, and vice busts:


FBI Visits Diabolic Video to Check (2257)

'Girls Gone Wild' Pleads Guilty (Violation of 2257 Record Keeping)

Philly - Cops: Sex for Sale on craigslist: 12 prostitutes busted

Craigslist not a place to hooker up

Hookers stroll the information highway

12 Arrested for Prostitution Ads on Web

Cops Bust 4 In Craigslist Prostitution Sting


Craigslist - more than just couches for sale?

Craigslist actually helped police make prostitution arrests

Are Internet Websites For Prostitutes?

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FBI Visits Diabolic Video to Check

CHATSWORTH, Calif. - FBI agents visited the offices of Diabolic Video checking their records in accordance with the 2257 statute, according to Diabolic owner Greg Allan.

“The agent said there are 10 companies on their list and we were the first,” Allan told exclusively.

This is the first time an adult company was visited to verify compliance with the record keeping requirements of 18USC~2257.


'Girls Gone Wild' Pleads Guilty in Sexual Exploitation Case


Companies, Founder to Pay $2.1 Million in Fines and Restitution

Contact: US Department of Justice , 202-514-2008, TDD 202-514-1888

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 / Standard Newswire / -- A California company doing business under the name "Girls Gone Wild" has pleaded guilty to charges that it failed to create and maintain age and identity documents for performers in sexually explicit films that it produced and distributed, and that it failed to label its DVDs and videotapes as required by federal law, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Miller of the Northern District of Florida announced today.

Santa Monica-based Mantra Films, Inc. entered its plea agreement today before U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak at U.S. District Court in Panama City , Fla.   A second related company, MRA Holdings, LLC, also entered into a deferred prosecution agreement.

Under the agreements, Joseph Francis, the founder of the two companies, agreed to plead guilty to offenses to be filed later in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles , and the companies and Francis agreed to pay fines and restitution totaling $2.1 million. 

The charges in this case are believed to be the first to be filed under a law - often referred to as Section 2257 - passed by Congress to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.  The law protects against the use of minors in the production of sexually explicit material by requiring producers to create and maintain age and identity records for every performer in sexually explicit movies and other media.  Producers and distributors must also label their products with the name of the custodian of the records and their location. 

"This case sends an important message about the Justice Department's commitment to protecting children from all forms of sexual exploitation," said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher.  "Today's agreements ensure that Girls Gone Wild will comply with an important law designed to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors and puts other producers on notice that they must be in compliance as well."

U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Miller noted, "This prosecution makes clear that those who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of our children's innocence in violation of the laws intended to protect them will be held to answer in federal court."

In statements filed in court today, Girls Gone Wild admitted filming performers and producing and distributing sexually explicit video materials during all of 2002 and part of 2003 while violating the record keeping and labeling laws. 

Mantra Films, Inc. pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to keep the required records and seven labeling violations.  Each count refers to a different film produced or distributed by Mantra.  MRA Holding, LLC, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement concerning the information filed in court charging the company with 10 labeling violations.  As part of that agreement, the government will dismiss the charges at the end of a three-year period if MRA Holding abides by all of its obligations under the agreement.  MRA Holding's obligations include a public acknowledgment of criminal wrongdoing, cooperating with the government in future investigations, fully complying with the record keeping laws, and payment of fines and restitution.

MRA Holding also agreed that during the three-year deferral period it would employ an independent, outside monitor selected by the government and provide the monitor complete access to the books and records, production facilities and other locations required to ensure the company's compliance with federal law relating to the production of visual materials under the name Girls Gone Wild, or any other name.

Of the $2.1 million in fines and restitution, $1.6 million are to be paid by Mantra and MRA and $500,000 are to be paid by Francis.

In May 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales - pursuant to "Project Safe Childhood" - asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin conducting regular inspections of records kept by producers of sexually explicit materials pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 2257.  Producers are required to keep records on performers to include true name and date of birth and produce these records on demand.  These regulations and resulting inspections are designed to prevent producers from hiring minors as performers, and carry criminal penalties for violations.

The cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sheila Phillips of the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force of the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Gregory Miller, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dixie Morrow of the Northern District of Florida.  The Justice Department's Obscenity Prosecution Task Force was formed to focus on the prosecution of adult obscenity nationwide.  The Task Force is directed by Brent D. Ward.  Investigation of the cases was conducted by the Adult Obscenity Squad of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is based in Washington , D.C.


Philly Cops: Sex for sale on craigslist -12 prostitutes busted

Bucks County Courier Times

Craigslist is the new street corner for hookers. Ladies of the night are posting ads on the free classified Web site just like others sell old furniture or collectibles. All you need is “ro$e$” to “buy'' their offerings.

A craigslist spokeswoman said the site can't and won't police the site and relies on consumers to complain about each ad. But Bensalem police investigators, who this week busted 12 suspected prostitutes advertising on the site, were blown away when they first found ads like those posted by “Bensalem Beauty” and the “Oral Specialist.”

One poster in August claimed she was stopping in Langhorne for the day and was looking for “donations of 300 for a visit.” She was only available until 4:15 p.m. that day, though, she said. Another poster calls herself a “quick afternoon snack” for “100 roses.”

Bensalem's Special Investigations Unit was tipped off in August about prostitutes advertising on the site. One undercover officer said when he started surfing the site, he was amazed at how blatant the ads are and how detailed the sex acts listed are. And many prostitutes' ads include nude photos or even short videos of themselves in action, something prostitutes posing as escorts can't do in the Yellow Pages.

Investigators scrolled the hundreds of erotic listings and called the cell phone numbers at the bottom of the ads offering “GFEs” — girlfriend experiences — for “ro$e$” or “125 donations” and agreed to meet the women at motels on Lincoln Highway .

The undercover investigator said normally an escort will take a few minutes to determine whether they are talking to a cop before offering a sex act or setting a price. But not the women on craigslist whom he said walked into the motel room, made a deal and never even questioned if he was a cop. Almost all of the 12 women were arrested within two minutes, he said.

Prostitutes, though, weren't the only ones police were after in their sting operation that started Tuesday and ended Thursday afternoon. They also targeted alleged drug dealers who the suspected prostitutes sent to “buyers.''

Police said Bobbie Lynn Godshall, 23, of Philadelphia , brought her drug dealing boyfriend, Brian Sanders, also of Philadelphia , and their 3-year-old daughter up to one motel where they sold police five OxyContin pills for $175. They were arrested, their daughter was released to a family member and police called the Department of Human Services.

Other prostitutes brought their drug dealers, too, police said. Suspected dealer Vincent Vaccariello of Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia met police at a parking lot on Route 1 Thursday afternoon and was taken into custody. Police said he had 55 bags of heroin and 87 bags of crack hidden in his pants.

Final arrest toll, five alleged drug dealers and the 12 women. The four charged with drug offenses are Sanders, Godshall, Vaccariello, Andre Jones of Philadelphia and Wayne Murawski, also of Philadelphia . Sanders and Godshall are also charged with conspiracy. The women charged with prostitution are: Davina Duffy of Alabama , Ashley Smith of Washington , D.C. , and Philadelphia residents Colleen Dunn, Lisa Collins, Sonia Lopez, Sameerah Satterwaite, Kameelah Evans, Lisa Perez, Ying Song, Jixic Feng and Nadirah Benson-Duval. Another woman also was charged, but police refused to release her name because they said she was cooperating.

Women, though, aren't the only ones using the Web site. Their customers are, too, like the man from Yardley who wants a “roseworthy” woman to meet him for “untranslated oral conversation” in his car. Or the two men in Doylestown looking for topless girls to serve as poker dealers.

Bensalem's Public Safety Director Fred Harran said these prostitutes were willing to go anywhere in Lower Bucks, not just his township, to make money. By Thursday afternoon, one poster alerted other users about a Courier Times story on the prostitution crackdown by Bensalem police.

“They would meet us under a tree if that's what we wanted,” Harran said. “They are blatantly taking advantage of technology to solicit their acts and we are going to use technology to arrest them.”

Harran said that craigslist is knowingly allowing criminal activity to be advertised.

“Prostitution is not allowed on craigslist as noted in our terms of use, any more than tax fraud is allowed by the IRS or speeding by the police,” craigslist spokeswoman Sue MacTavish Best said, calling the line between a legal escort ad and a prostitution ad “gray.”

She said craigslist cooperates with law enforcement and removes prohibited content when the site becomes aware of it. Craigslist has a flagging system that allows users to bring prohibited content to the company's attention.

But scrolling through the erotic services section, users can see reviews of the sexual performances of various posters: Victoria in Trevose was a “Grand Ole time,” one man took the time to post. Victoria 's post, “Incall located in Trevose on Rt. 1 $125 1/2 and $225 1hr.”

Matt Coughlin can be reached at 215-949-4172 or


Craigslist not a place to Hooker up

Bucks County cops charge 12 with prostitution

Associated Press   

September 10, 2006   Police in Bucks County have charged 12 women after an investigation into prostitutes who allegedly have been advertising on Craigslist, the free-classified Web site.

After Bensalem police received a tip in August about prostitutes advertising on the site, investigators called cell-phone numbers in local listings that advertised "GFEs" - girlfriend experiences - asking for payment in "ro$e$" or "125 donations."

The undercover investigators agreed to meet the women at motels on Lincoln Highway . Almost all of the 12 women were arrested within two minutes, he said.

Several of the women who were arrested had brought along their boyfriends, and five men were arrested on drug charges, police said.

"They would meet us under a tree if that's what we wanted," Bensalem public-safety director Fred Harran said. "They are blatantly taking advantage of technology to solicit their acts, and we are going to use technology to arrest them."

Similar sting operations have led to prostitution charges against women in Maryland , New York , Oregon and New Hampshire .

Craigslist spokeswoman Sue MacTavish Best said the site cooperates with law enforcement and has a flagging system that allows users to bring prohibited content to the company's attention so it can be removed.

"Prostitution is not allowed on Craigslist... any more than tax fraud is allowed by the IRS or speeding by the police," she said, calling the line between a legal escort ad and a prostitution ad "gray."

The Internet site based in San Francisco is a popular place to post mostly free ads for everything from trips, tools, athletic equipment to other household goods.


Hookers stroll the information highway

Newscom  September 11, 2006

Police in Bensalem, Pa ., were surprised to learn ads for Oral Specialists on an online market site had nothing to do with dentistry. A ds found on for Oralspecialist, Bensalem Beauty and A Quick Afternoon Snack turned out to be solicitations placed by prostitutes, who have moved off the street corner and onto the information highway, the Bucks County Courier Times of Levittown, Pa ., reported Monday.

An undercover Bensalem officer told the newspaper he was amazed at how blatant some of the ads were, detailing explicit sex acts as well as pornographic photos and videos, phone numbers and exact pricing.

The officer said he made dates with 12 advertisers last week and not a single one even asked if he was with the police department before meeting him at an area hotel. As an added bonus, one of the women brought along her boyfriend -- who just happened to have 55 bags of heroin and 87 bags of crack hidden in his pants.


12 Arrested for Prostitution Ads on Web

Published: Sep 10, 2006 3:23 PM EST

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Police in Bucks County have charged 12 women after an investigation into prostitutes who allegedly have been advertising on the Web site Craigslist.

After police received a tip in August about alleged prostitutes advertising on the site, investigators called cell phone numbers in local listings that advertised "GFEs" — girlfriend experiences — asking for payment in "ro$e$" or "125 donations." The undercover investigators agreed to meet the women at motels, and almost all 12 were arrested within two minutes, he said.

Several of the women who were arrested had brought along their boyfriends, and five men were arrested on drug charges, police said. Similar sting operations have led to prostitution charges against women in states including Maryland , New York , Oregon and New Hampshire .

Craigslist spokeswoman Sue MacTavish Best said the site cooperates with law enforcement and has a flagging system that allows users to bring prohibited content to the company's attention so it can be removed.


Cops Bust 4 In Craigslist Prostitution Sting

Aug 9, 2006 3:20 pm US/Eastern (AP)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. Police have arrested four women in an investigation into prostitution ads that were posted on a popular Internet classifieds site.

The women were arrested over the last three weeks at hotels near Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport , police said. They were charged with illegally soliciting sex.

Anne Arundel County authorities began the investigation after reading ads posted on that offered sex services for $140 to $300.

Police said Tuesday the women allegedly arranged several weeks' worth of appointments in advance, then flew into a city to meet with clients. They then traveled to their next destination.

Experts said Craigslist has become a favorite way for prostitutes to find clients and set up operations in cities where they don't have a network. Classified ads in a variety of categories are free on Craigslist.

"The Internet facilitates the mobility and the outreach to clients, and there are a number of Web sites, including Craigslist, that these workers use to announce their presence in a particular city during a particular day," said Ronald Weitzer, a sociology professor at George Washington University .

Police said two of the four women are from California and Illinois and the others live in Washington , D.C. and Laurel. Trials are pending.



September 8, 2006 FOCUS ON CRIME ONLINE:   Prostitution 2.0

“Today's Links” is an eclectic round up pointing to noteworthy news and worthy analysis from all around the World Wide Web. Vice Officers use Internet to catch would be prostitutes"

The sex trade embraces Read-Write Web:

Prostitutes are going high-tech and using the Internet to ply their trade. Oklahoma City vice lieutenant Doug Kimberlin says investigators monitor several Web sites mainly Craigslist for prostitution advertisements.

Kimberlin says some of the Web sites like TER and BigDoggie feature escort reviews, which he says are customer's reviews of prostitutes.

In addition to patrolling the sites, Kimberlin says investigators have posted sting ads of their own and even arrested one man for attempting to set up a meeting for sex.


Hooked! 4 Held on Net Sex Ads

Touted services on Craigslist

Originally published on June 9, 2006


Craigslist has long been known for helping people find roommates and soul mates - but hookers? Nassau cops yesterday said they busted four prostitutes who advertised their services on the Internet bulletin board's Web site. The women, three from Georgia and Florida and the fourth from Brooklyn, were busted after arranging to have sex with johns who turned out to be undercover cops at motels in Plainview and Jericho this week, police said.

"It's a pretty fine line between promoting prostitution and allowing advertising on the part of Craigslist," said Capt. Steven Skrynecki, commander of the Nassau County Narcotics and Vice Squad. "They walk that fine line."

A spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based Web site defended the service, saying that it forbids promotion of any "illegal activity" - including prostitution - on its site but that its 22-person staff does not monitor each of the 9 million individual listings they receive monthly.

Craigslist does require anyone posting a personals ad in its "Erotic Services" section to agree to certain terms - among them: "Erotic Services is intended only for LEGAL services such as escorts, sensual massage, and erotic dance. Do NOT suggest or imply an illegal exchange of sexual favors for money!"

Yet Nassau police had little difficulty finding women in Craigslist's Erotic Services section for Long Island who were willing to perform sex for money.

Victoria Finley, 21, of Orlando - arrested Wednesday afternoon - titled her ad "Full Satisfaction." The bleached blond, who posted a sexy picture of herself wearing lingerie and a come-hither look, wrote, "Hot blonde.... Full service."  Others were less discreet.

According to police, Claudinette Rodriguez, 38, of Miami Beach , billed herself as a "naughty thong wearing babe!"

Using the name "Katia," Rodriguez, who also was nabbed Wednesday, wrote that she has a "huge fetish for sexy shoes, lingerie."

For her compensation, she asked for a "Donation: 200/hr." and specified "cash only."

An ad - "Sexy Exotic Lady for Fun Time!!!" - that police said was posted by Shaneesa White, 21, of Georgia targeted "upscale gentlemen" and said, "You won't want to leave.... Call for rates."

When White was arrested Wednesday, cops found her 4-year-old son in a car parked outside a Jericho motel, along with, Keith Cowan, 23.

Nassau police also arrested Ebony Gilbreath, 21, of Brooklyn . All four were released on bail after being arraigned yesterday on misdemeanor prostitution charges.

White also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Her male friend Cowan was hit with marijuana-possession and promoting-prostitution charges.

The out-of-state women, who arrived in Nassau within the past month and set up shop independent of each other, were drawn here because it is "an affluent county," Skrynecki said.

He added that this week's arrests were "just the tip of the iceberg. This is something that goes on here as well as other areas in the metropolitan area on a continual basis. ... It's a constant battle to keep this under control."


Craigslist - more than just couches for sale?

So you're on Craigslist, looking to buy a chair, when all of a sudden you realize what you really want to buy is some time with a prostitute. It couldn't be easier to browse the ads for hundreds of escorts in the erotic services section. Whether you want some furniture or a hooker -- BUYER BEWARE!

Cops in various cities have been using Craigslist to bust both prostitutes and Johns. The most recent case is in Nashua NH , when several men were arrested after replying to a fake ad, and where several women were arrested after offering male officers sexual acts for money.

See Following Article...

Craigslist actually helped police make prostitution arrests

February 17, 2006

NASHUA , N.H.  --The popular Web site has proved a boon to police cracking down on prostitution.

Officers in Nashua have been using the New Hampshire section of the site, which features thousand of classified- and personals-style ads, to meet up with people looking to be or hire a prostitute at area hotels.

"I would say to anybody looking to do this sort of thing here, the next time you make one of these calls or go to a hotel room, you might be dealing with a Nashua police officer," said police Sgt. Scott Childs.

They say that seven women and seven men have been charged with prostitution since July through use of the Web site. Childs said more arrests are expected in coming months.

"Most of these guys were pretty seasoned at doing this," Childs said.

Police say the men were arrested after responding to a fake ad for massage and escort services officers had posted on the site's "erotic" section. The men met a woman, who was working with police, at a Nashua hotel, and police monitored the conversations.

Police say the women who were arrested were accused of offering sexual acts for money to male officers who had arranged to meet them at hotels.

Childs said prostitution is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and that police take this crime seriously.

"These types of activities can increase the potential for a person to become a victim of a sexually transmitted disease as well as a victim of a crime," he said.


Information from: The Telegraph,


Are Internet Websites Pimping For Prostitutes?

Authorities investigating whether Internet firms taking money for sex ads

February 6, 2006, 04:57:48 AM PST


It seems there is nothing out of reach on the Internet, from the benign everyday items to the quirky and ridiculous.

People search for boyfriends, apartments and used furniture, and have attempted to sell body parts and auction their names.

So it may come as no surprise that the world's oldest profession has reinvented itself for the digital age.

Police say some dating Web sites and online classified services increasingly feature blatant ads for prostitution.

After a recent sting netted eight arrests, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department is investigating Web sites it says create a forum for prostitution.

"We're going to look into whether there are federal violations being committed and if so, we will pursue it," said Det. Ken Hedrick, whose previous investigations focused on catching child predators online. "If someone's paying them money to place an ad for prostitution on there, they're taking that money and they're committing a crime."

But Kurt Opsahl, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act holds that Web sites are not liable for information posted there by third parties.

If Web site creators were responsible for screening the thousands or millions of posts each day, Opsahl said, it would be nearly impossible for them to stay in business.

"That's pretty much the only way message boards on the Internet could possibly work," he said. "But if what they do rises to essentially pimping and they're getting fees based on providing the prostitution services, then it's no longer information from a third party."

Hedrick said he first stumbled across the problem by accident, when he found a prostitution ad on the Yahoo Personals site five years ago. He arrested a 45-year-old Salida woman through that first sting. A year later, the woman reposted her advertisement and was arrested again, detectives said.

Last month, the Sheriff's Department concluded a full-scale operation to catch prostitutes and their customers online. Detectives arrested five men, including two registered sex offenders, one who had been arrested weeks earlier on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography; a high school football coach; and two businessmen. Two women and a 17-year-old runaway also were arrested after Hedrick set up "dates" with them in hotel rooms or an apartment used for undercover operations.

Hedrick surfed several dating Web sites but found that and were the ones most saturated with prostitution ads.

"I started checking those out and what I found was kind of astonishing," he said. "The number of people posting is outrageous, and the ads are just really blatant."

Site: Legality hard to determine

In November, Craigslist helped lead South San Francisco police to uncover a prostitution ring of at least eight juveniles who had posted ads on the site.

Craigslist, a free community classified service, allows more than 10 million users each month to post jobs, housing and personal ads among other categories. The site also has an erotic services link for escort services that Hedrick and other detectives used to uncover prostitutes.

Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist's chief executive officer, said advertising illegal activities is strictly prohibited on the site. Each posting has a system through which users who spot illegal ads can flag them for removal by Craigslist staff.

But Buckmaster said it often is difficult to know by reading an ad whether the advertisement is offering legal escort services or illegal prostitution, making it necessary for police to go undercover to make the exchange of money for the promise of sex.

"We've gotten a lot of positive feedback and praise from law enforcement and (district attorneys') offices over the years for being especially prompt and cooperative in responding to their inquiries," Buckmaster said in an e-mail.

Tips given to avoid police, a Web site that bills itself as "the Premier Guide to Escort, Massage and Strip Club services in the greater San Francisco Bay Area," includes names, numbers and reviews of escorts, as well as message boards where members can discuss sexual exploits and trade tips on how to avoid becoming the target of police busts.

There are more than 78,000 active members on, which was founded in 1997 by two high-tech professionals in the Bay Area identified only as Mr. R and Mr. B.

MyRedBook has a disclaimer that warns users not to post any illegal or explicit information.

Users on the site have developed a community of sorts, creating their own terminology, describing the males as "hobbyists" and females as "providers," along with a list of acronyms to describe sex acts. Accessing some of the reviews and the message board is free, but some pay to become VIP members.

The "providers" are reviewed on the site to reduce the likelihood of responding to an undercover police officer, Hedrick said. There are more than 1,000 names of "providers" in the Central Valley . People on the site frequently urge others to "stick with references" and "do their homework."

"It's always a good idea to play it safe and not give out self incriminating information," said one post on the Central Valley message board. "But, we still want and need to share info or we wouldn't be here. It's just that from now on we're going to have to be smarter at it."

Hedrick said there is much talk on the site about legalizing prostitution as an act between two consenting adults, and many users say they believe Internet prostitution is a safer and easier alternative to cruising the streets.

Tough choice for lawmakers

Experts say lawmakers will face a difficult decision about whether to place responsibility on sites that knowingly or unknowingly advertise illegal activities.

Bob Berring, a professor specializing in new technology at the University of California at Berkeley 's Boalt Hall School of Law, said the Internet has developed far more quickly than the laws governing it.

"People are constantly pushing at the edges," Berring said. "If I can advertise a prostitute, could we have a bulletin board devoted to the sale of cocaine? If you make money because people come to your site, it's more difficult to justify that you don't have any control of what goes on."


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