Craigslist has caught heat in recent years for allowing online ads for prostitution and “girlfriend experience” (GFE) to publish. Authorities have tried to crack down on this online sex trade, but as Bronx News reports, such efforts are like trying to get rid of crabgrass. This time, authorities have intervened in a prostitution ring advertised on Craigslist Albany. A 25-year-old former utility worker named Ross Campbell has been charged with pimping women. He faces up to 50 years in prison, reports the Bronx News New York blog.
Craigslist Albany was a front for numerous crimes
According to Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson, Queens resident Campbell’s business on Craigslist Albany included sex trafficking, kidnapping, rape and various other offenses involving two “young” victims. This is reportedly the first such online-related conviction in Bronx County and one of only a few made under New York’s Sex Trafficking statute that became law in 2007. All of Ross Campbell’s Craigslist Albany crimes, save for promoting prostitution, are classified as Class B felonies, punishable by up to 25 years in jail for each offense. Thus, consecutive terms are possible, yet a combined term may occur.
Tales of the online prostitution trial
According to court documents, a 19-year-old woman testified that she came to the Bronx with her 3-year-old child under the impression that she would be living with Campbell, with whom she’d become romantically entangled. After relocating to an apartment rented by Campbell’s cousin, Daniel Ebron, she was “forced to engage in prostitution” under threat that her child would be harmed or killed. The woman worked as a prostitute for customers solicited through Craigslist Albany ads until she eventually managed to escape with her son.
Campbell allegedly kidnapped and raped two other victims, ages 18 and 19, at a later time.