Craigslist sex trafficker gets 17 years

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A 27-year-old College Park man was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for selling underage girls as prostitutes on Craigslist.

.Christopher Pressley, also known as “Daddy,” “CP,” “C-Peezy,” “CP the Young Don,” “The Don,” “Super Swag Shawty,” and “Papi,” pleaded guilty to the charges in June.

“This defendant was exploiting underage girls and literally selling them on the internet as adult prostitutes,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said.

According to the information presented in court, an undercover officer with the Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force made a date for sex based upon an ad in the erotic services section of Craigslist in February 2009.

The girl, who appeared nude in the ad and was listed as 19, looked underage. She was arrested after propositioning the officer at a hotel, and investigators subsequently identified her as a 16-year-old.

Authorities said Pressley knew the girl was a minor and had directed someone to put the advertisement online.

In another case, Atlanta police were called to Grady Hospital in September 2008 regarding a 17-year-old female who was there for treatment. An investigation determined that beginning in April 2009, a photo of the girl was posted by Pressley on Craigslist advertising sexual services. She was 17 at the time.

Following his incarceration, Pressley must serve five years of supervised release and undergo drug, alcohol and sexual rehabilitation, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story ruled. He also must pay $60,400 in restitution to his victims.

Most Pimps Were Trafficked, Abused As Children

A new research study from the DePaul College of Law sheds light on a rarely examined subject: pimps. Researchers interviewed 25 pimps from the Chicago area, and what they found was surprising. Most of the pimps they spoke with were both trafficked into the sex industry as children and trafficked kids themselves as pimps, forming a vicious cycle of exploitation that can span generations.

Researchers Brenda Myers-Powell and Jody Raphael issued a 91 question survey to 25 pimps in the Chicago area. The results, while imperfect by the authors’ own admission, shed some light on how pimps start pimping, how many women they generally control, and what the modern pimping industry looks like. The interviews included both men and women and people from all races. The results are surprising.

Of the pimps interviewed, 76% were sexually abused as children and 68% were sold for sex themselves before pimping. Every single one of the women interviewed were in the commercial sex industry before pimping. The average age of onset into commercial sex was 15, making the majority of pimps interviewed former child sex trafficking victims. Most of them also reported physical abuse, domestic violence, and drug and alcohol abuse in their home while growing up. Nearly half ran away from those abuses, directly contributing to their entry into the commercial sex industry.

But the news wasn’t all sympathetic. The pimps in the study certainly weren’t struggling to make ends meet; they earned between $150,000 and $500,000 a year. To do this, they sold up to 30 women at a given time. To keep their “inventory” fresh, they were constantly rotating women out and looking for new faces and bodies to bring in. And for most of the pimps, that meant finding what the buyers wanted — younger and younger girls. They shared specific strategies for targeting young, vulnerable girls and runaways. Some talked about feeding girls liquor and drugs until they became compliant. Over half of them took all the earnings from at least some of the girls and women they controlled.

This study demonstrates that exploitation in the commercial sex industry is cyclical and sometimes multi-generational, just like domestic violence or child abuse. Therefore, providing care to both male and female victims of child sex trafficking and sexual exploitation not only fulfills an ethical duty to those victims, it will help stop the cycle of exploitation and prevent the next generation of victims from becoming pimps. Refuses Attorneys General’s Requests to Close Adult Ad Section

I wanted to share this blog that Amanda Kloer recently wrote regarding I have made reference to this website a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. I know that for the last couple of months everyone has been attacking Craigslist. At this time because of all of the controversy surrounding the site, Craisglist shut down it’s adult services section. However, while everyone focused on one website, who actually cooperated with law enforcement on sex trafficking investigations, another website doing the same thing (or worse in my opinion) was still profiting from the adult services section. is known to not want to cooperate with anyone. And even now that several Attorney’s Generals have requested for to follow in the footsteps of Craigslist, the owners of this site have said “no”.
It’s time to rally up the troops and begin another fight against a website that has advertised victims of sex trafficking on numerous occasions. This fight is going to be a lot tougher that the fight against Craigslist was as the owners of Craisglist actually had a heart. We must not become complacent now that Craigslist shut down it”s adult services section. We may have won a battle but have not won the war against sex trafficking! Refuses Attorneys General’s Requests to Close Adult Ad Section
by Amanda Kloer September 23, 2010 @ 06:00AM PT Topics: Child Prostitution, Child Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Craigslist may no longer be able to cry “scapegoat,” as the attorneys general from twenty-one state have now asked to shut down their adult services section to prevent human trafficking. But unlike Craigslist, Backpage owners Village Voice Media have flat-out said “no.” Will you ask them to reconsider?

This week, attorneys general from twenty-one states sent a letter to Village Voice Media, saying that if they can’t responsibly monitor their adult ad section to prevent its use by pimps and traffickers, they should remove it. It was four more attorneys general than wrote to Craigslist with the same request just days before the site complied. In addition to feeling the heat from law enforcement agents around the country, Backpage is the target of a lawsuit from a human trafficking survivor and a petition signed by over 4,000 readers. Their adult ads page has had documented cases of children sold for sex, and some advocates are concerned pimps now banned from Craigslist are moving victims to Backpage.

Backpage’s response? Sucks for you, but not our fault. In one press release, they called the lawsuit filed by a 14-year-old girl who was sold for prostitution on Backpage, “a lie fabricated by a trial lawyer looking for a payday.” They claim law enforcement has only asked them to cooperate in a handful of cases involving underage girls sold on the site, and that they’ve complied. And in a second press release, they “respectfully decline[d] the recent demand by a group of 21 state attorneys general” to shut down their adult ads. They claim that what they’re doing to prevent misuse, which doesn’t include manual screening of ads or transparent cooperation with NGOs or law enforcement, is enough. And of course, they paint asking them to take any more responsibility for the ease with which criminals exploit children on their site as “censorship.”

It took several years of efforts by a vast number of groups before Craigslist made a change. Is Village Voice Media shaping up to be an even tougher foe? How many cases of children being sold on their site, how many lawsuits, how many pleas from law enforcement and anti-trafficking organizations will it take for them the rethink their hard “no?” How many more signatures until they respond? Will yours be the final one needed?