Internet Making Sex-Crime Enforcement Harder


Internet advertising makes enforcement of laws against the sex trade more difficult than in the past because the industry is no longer confined to the streets. There, Dallas vice squad Lt. Christina Smith tells the Dallas Morning News, “you stop, you make the case, and you have the arrest.” With prostitutes on the Internet and customers cruising from their homes, officers must browse the sites, make a phone call to set up a “date,” wait for a call back, then go to the location – where the suspect may or may not show up. “It definitely is more time-consuming,” she said.

Discerning who is looking for paid sex from who’s just looking for NSA (no strings attached) sex is difficult. The ads often use acronyms or code words. A “cuddy buddy” is a “friend with sexual benefits.” A reference to “150 roses” or “flowers” means $150 in exchange for sex. Dallas police have learned to read between the lines. “I have a little cheat sheet of the terminology,” Smith said. “Oh, that’s what they’re talking about.” Smith said that to avoid becoming a victim, users should be cautious and refrain from risky behavior.

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