A girl being trafficked in Kansas is now safe and getting help after she watched an Aug. 10 "World News" report exploring whether Craigslist was a site for sex slaves.
Malika Saada Saar, executive director and founder of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, said in an e-mail that "because of your beautiful report, a girl being trafficked in Kansas saw the report, ran away from the pimp and called us. ... One less girl has been hurt. Thank you."
Since the "World News" story aired, Craigslist has removed the "adult services" category, under pressure from a group of attorneys general from several states. In its place, Craigslist has posted a black banner with the word "CENSORED."
Still, the virtual red-light district has hardly disappeared. Plenty of ads for adult services can still be found in plain sight on Craigslist. They've simply migrated to a different category called "casual encounters."
Below is the "World News" original story titled "Craigslist: Site for Sex Slaves?"
In the adult section of the popular website Craigslist, it looks as though the world's oldest profession has met up with modern technology, with a number of women offering companionship for a certain price.
But are all the femme fatales featured online consenting adults, or sex slaves?
Many took notice of the issue after two self-described "Survivors of Craigslist Sex Trafficking" took out a half-page advertisement in last Friday's Washington Post. Directed at 'Craig,' or the site's founder Craig Newmark, the girls began by saying they "are certain you would not want what happened to us or to thousands of girls like us to ever happen again."
Their stories, briefly recounted in graphic and grim detail, describe the horrors of what happened to them. One of the young women, who goes by "AK," describes how she met a man twice her age who posted her photo online and essentially ended her life as she knew it.
"I was sold for sex by the hour at truck stops and cheap motels -- 10 hours with 10 different men every night," AK recounted. "It was stressful, because like once one person was gone, the next person was waiting in the parking lot."
AK told ABC News that pimps had moved her from city to city and pocketed any money she earned, and would punish her if she ever tried to quit.
But AK was not alone. Another girl, "MC," recounts in the Washington Post ad how she and other girls "sat with our laptops, posting pictures and answering ads on Craigslist," with her pimp making upwards of $1,500 a night. She even remembered one trip in which she was kept in the trunk of a car all the way to Las Vegas.
"Craig," pleaded MC, "we write this letter so you will know from our personal experiences how Craigslist makes horrific acts like this so easy to carry out, and the men who carry out, and men who arrange them very rich."
Just recently, a 26-year-old District of Columbia man named Brandon Petty pleaded guilty in connection with two sexual assaults of women he met through Craigslist. Evidence suggests that the first incident took place on Sept. 8, 2009, in which he grabbed the victim by the hair, placed a knife to her throat and demanded money. A similar situation occurred on April 21, 2010. He now faces up to 30 years in prison.