Category Archives: Craigslist

Free Rent for Sex on Craigslist

A 9Wants to Know investigation reveals men who are actively offering free rent in exchange for sex on Craigslist may be breaking Colorado prostitution laws

DENVER – A 9Wants to Know investigation reveals men who are actively offering free rent in exchange for sex on Craigslist may be breaking Colorado prostitution laws.

“I was hoping for sex one to three times a week,” said John Smith of Denver over email, after 9Wants to Know responded to his posting.

Smith advertised “Free Place for a Female” in numerous postings over the course of several weeks.

“What I was looking for is somebody to sleep in my bed,” Smith later said on undercover video recorded by 9Wants to Know.

During a Skype conversation, Paul Cherry of Lakewood said he was just looking for companionship when he offered a “rent free” room in Lakewood.

When asked about the terms of the free rent offer, Cherry responded “It’s kind of like, not so much a ‘girlfriend’ situation, but subtly…..it would be subtly.”

Other men, like Robert Garrison, are not as vague about what they want.

Garrison advertised “Roomate/Lover Wanted” and wrote “rent free & use of my truck” on his advertisement. In another post, Garrison called himself a “roommate with benefits.”

During an undercover encounter with Garrison, he admitted he was seeking sex in exchange for free rent in his trailer and said he was tired of “shopping around” for women at the bars.

When 9Wants to Know sat down with Garrison to ask him about his advertisements, Garrison said he wasn’t worried about breaking the law.

Legal?

9News Legal Analyst Scott Robinson says under Colorado’s prostitution laws, rent is considered a thing of value, like money or drugs. Once something of value is exchanged for sex, it becomes prostitution Robinson said.

“These men are looking for soul mates, but if they keep this up, they’re going to be looking for cell mates,” Robinson said. “A subtle ad might skirt around the outskirts of the law, but once the arrangement is made, then it in fact becomes a crime.”

Cherry, who has a criminal history including stalking, was not initially upfront about his age while speaking on Skype.

He insisted he was not offering rent for sex and he was not trying to take advantage of someone when he was questioned by 9Wants to Know.

“That’s why I took it down,” Cherry said, speaking of his Craigslist post. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be misconstrued as someone trying to sell something or take advantage of someone. And that’s what this was not about. This was about having someone to provide something for and having someone to cuddle on the couch.”

While Cherry’s ad does not mention sex, other ads reviewed by 9Wants to Know were more explicit.

“I would consider them johns,” said Sgt. Dane Steel, who reviewed some of the explicit ads profiled by 9Wants to Know.

Sgt. Steele worked in Denver Police Department’s vice unit for more than four years. Steele said subtle ads may look legal on the surface, but the real motive could be criminal. “It’s different ways to subvert the law.”

Attracting a vulnerable population

Sgt. Steele, who now works human trafficking cases for the Denver Police Department, believes some of the ads could attract young, vulnerable women who are desperate for housing. “That happens a lot of the time with runaway youth, when they’re exchanging sex for shelter,” Steele said.

While the men featured in this report may be completely harmless and just lonely men, Steele says the ads can lure in people for more sinister reasons.

“We’ve also seen it on those levels where it’s a guy that’s a ‘hobbyist.’ This is his passion-being a full time john where they have this sugar-daddy relationship. They want somebody that’s going to be subservient to them.”

A viable relationship with no strings attached?

Dr. Christie Hartman who is a behavioral scientist and dating expert believes “roommates with benefits” could end up stuck in a sour relationship where one person has control over the other.

“There are darker things that can happen,” Hartman said. “There is a way for a man, well, ‘If I give her free rent, I got her under my thumb. I can get different things from her. I can control her, I can abuse her.'”

Hartman also says in almost every case, sex always comes with strings attached even if there is an expectation it won’t complicate things.

“There is always an emotional component,” Hartman said. “Like if somebody falls for the other person, or if the other person doesn’t feel that way. People don’t want it to have strings, but it always does.”

Dangers for the advertisers

Hartman advises people not to seek partners or dates on Craigslist because it’s unknown what kind of person an advertiser could attract.

“She could be a psychopath or a thief,” Hartman said, speaking of the type of women who may respond to the ads. “There’s too much of a dark element out there.”

Sgt. Steel also said men who are seeking sex could get caught up with a woman who could be under the control of an extortionist or a dangerous pimp.

Mother Accused of Selling 4-Month-Old Baby on Craigslist

Investigators said Bobbie Stojic, 23, offered to sell her baby boy to a Louisiana woman for $5,000. (Photo source: Hancock Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – A woman in Mississippi is out on bond after being arrested for allegedly trying to sell her 4-month-old baby boy. Investigators said Bobbie Stojic, 23, offered to sell her baby boy to a Louisiana woman for $5,000.

This case marked a first for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and sent shock-waves through the community.

“Miss Stojic had posted an ISO, ‘In Search of,’ on Craigslist for baby clothes. She was contacted by a young lady over in Louisiana. A relationship had been built between Miss Stojic and the individual over in Louisiana,” said Investigator Brandon Normand, with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators said the two began to text each other and at some point Stojic mentioned she was having financial difficulties and faced possible eviction from her home.

“The young lady over in Louisiana had mentioned to Miss Stojic that if she needed assistance during her eviction process that she would offer assistance for the care of her 4-month-old.

Miss Stojic had replied to her at some point and time… ‘Well, for $5,000 you can have the child. Come and get him,'” said Normand.

Investigators said the Louisiana woman replied via text, “If you’re interested in relinquishing your parental rights, it would need to go through the legal adoption process.”

“Miss Stojac replied she was not interested in the legal adoption process, that she could take $600 now and they could work out the rest of the money later,” according to Normand.

The 4-month-old infant is now in DHS custody. But it might surprise you to know selling a child only recently became illegal in Mississippi. The Offering To Sell A Child bill, a felony, went into affect July 2009.

“We deplore the thought that a mother would sell her own child,” said Terry Latham, Executive Director of Hope Haven Children’s Services.

He said there is no reason for a parent to even consider putting a price tag on a child.

“In a situation where you come to a financial stand still, and you can no longer take care of yourself and take care of that child, go to the hospital. That’s a place of safety where you can leave a child. Call DHS, call Hope Haven, call the youth court, call law enforcement. There are absolutely a ton of people in Hancock County, or any other county, that can work with you,” said Latham.

Sheriff’s officials said Stojac denies she attempted to sell her infant. The case will now be turned over to a Hancock County grand jury. If convicted, Stojac could face up to ten years in prison.

 

 

Teen Pimped on Craigslist for Cash, Meth

Robert Felix Gonzales, 39, was charged with multiple violent and sex crimes involving a child, who police say he pimped out on Craigslist in exchange for methamphetamine and cash for more than two years.

Phil Tenser

ARVADA, Colo. – Cash and methamphetamine were allegedly the preferred methods of payment accepted by a Broomfield man accused of pimping a foster child for nearly three years.

Robert Felix Gonzales, 39, faces 15 counts for pimping the girl between 2011 and 2013, the District Attorney’s Office reported. The child was between the ages of 14 and 16 during that period.

Gonzales allegedly advertised the girl on Craigslist, giving her drugs and alcohol and forcing her to have sex with people she did not know in motel rooms. He allegedly accepted the payments of cash or meth.

The District Attorney reports that Arvada and Denver police were involved in investigating the case, as well as an FBI task force. As a result of their work, Gonzales is charged with trafficking in children, pandering of a child, two counts of a pattern of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, soliciting for child prostitution, procurement of a child, keeping a place of child prostitution, pimping of a child, inducement of child prostitution, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, harboring a minor and four counts of committing a violent crime.

Court records show Gonzales was a defendant in past domestic violence, escape, and forcible entry cases.

Gonzales is being held in the Jefferson County Detention Center on $500,000 bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 5.

— Court documents cover several years of incidents —

The affidavit for Gonzales’ arrest contains several dated sections that begin in June of 2012, when it says the victim was reported as a runaway by her grandmother. The grandmother told Arvada police that the teen had lived with Gonzales during 2011 and “had been approved by social services.”

The grandmother also later told police Gonzales was introduced to the girl by a “foster parent and school counselor.”

The document says they visited Gonzales’ home but did not find the girl that day. Two days later, the document says the grandmother called again and Gonzales again denied knowing where the teenager was.

On July 20, 2012, officers visited Gonzales again and also spoke with a woman whose identity is redacted from the document. Four days later, the woman called police to admit she hadn’t been truthful and that the teenager had actually been hidden in the basement behind a false wall, the affidavit says. She also allegedly provided photographs of Gonzales and the victim hugging and kissing.

When officers went to the home on July 25, 2012, the document says they found the girl in a basement crawl space but Gonzales denied any relationship with the teen.

During another meeting between officers and Gonzales, he again denied having a relationship with the girl but admitted to speaking with her and helping her with food and other needs.

Another incident involving Gonzales was also referenced in the affidavit. It was described as a felony menacing case on Jan. 1, 2013.

Gonzales reported that he had fled from another man who pointed a gun at him after Gonzales was called to an address in Westminster by an “ex-foster child.” While speaking with an officer, Gonzales’ phone rang several times and the officer eventually told him to answer the call.

According to the document, the officer heard the caller tell Gonzales “she had been shot and lost the baby. Gonzales asked ‘What baby’ to which [name redacted] stated, ‘It has your DNA all over it.'”

Gonzales pleaded guilty to harboring a minor on May 20, 2013. He was sentenced to three years of probation and one year of jail time, but the jail time was suspended.

— Alleged victim speaks with police —

The affidavit says the girl was first interviewed at Arvada Police Headquarters on Sept. 6, 2013, and the affidavit summarizes that meeting.

The teen allegedly told police her relationship with Gonzales developed in 2011. She said it became physical in October of that year and she also described several times and places where Gonzales allegedly got her alcohol or drugs.

She told officers she was in love with Gonzales and believed he felt the same way, the affidavit says. But the relationship changed, she said, when “Gonzales began staying in motels and drinking and then Gonzales was having other men join their sexual encounters.”

The document states the victim told officers Gonzales was going on Craigslist [to advertise] and she felt uncomfortable because of the pressure she felt. Later, she told officers that some of the postings included naked pictures of her.

She told the officers Gonzales liked using Motel 6’s but also used hotels called, “No Tell Motel,” “Triangle T,” and a “Howard Johnson.”

The victim “stated she and Gonzales had sex every time they went to a hotel,” the affidavit says.

She also answered questions about when she ran away, when Gonzales allegedly began using methamphetamine, the time she was found in the crawl space and sexual encounters with men in hotels. The document says the teenager described times Gonzales bartered for methamphetamine and cash.

In subsequent interview, the affidavit says the girl told officers Gonzales often used the drugs he obtained in the transactions. The “Johns” were often drug dealers, she told the interviewing officers.

The teenager reluctantly estimated there were at least 30 Johns, the affidavit states. She said that Gonzales assaulted her if she tried to refuse and that he participated in approximately one-quarter of the sex acts.

One day, the teenager told officers, she decided she “didn’t want to do it anymore.” Sober for several days, she jumped from Gonzales’ moving Mitsubishi in Denver on July 22, 2013.

She went on to describe feeling afraid and just wanted to get out of the car. Although the officers documented some descriptions the teenager provided about Gonzales’ violence, they also wrote that she did not answer when asked if he ever used threats to keep her from leaving or telling others.

Other interviews followed and during one, a detective noted the teenager had a new tattoo of a Chinese symbol. The affidavit indicates she told the detective it meant “eternity.”

A second detective realized Gonzales had an identical tattoo, the affidavit states.

Idaho Man Advertised Three-Year-Old Girl for Prostitution on Craigslist

Man who posted toddler sex ad on Craigslist gets 30 years

Jason Lloyd Shaber, a 41-year-old Boise man who pleaded guilty to placing a Craigslist ad offering sex with a 3-year-old girl that he also sexually abused, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison followed by lifetime supervised release — after pleading guilty in May to sexual exploitation of children by producing and distributing child pornography.

According to the plea agreement, the investigation of Schaber’s activities began in April, 2012, after Boise Police were contacted by a person who saw a Craigslist advertisement offering a 3-year-old child for prostitution. Officials say Schaber, the father of two, posted several Craigslist ads online seeking sex for himself as well as the child. One of sex ads stated “desperate times calls for desperate measures.” Another ad, prosecutors say, had a graphic description of the prostitution plans with the child. “Hurry before your once in a lifetime opportunity passes you by,” the ad stated

Investigators worked with Craigslist and Google and traced the ads back to Schaber in mid-May, according to reports. Boise Police investigators obtained a warrant to search Schaber’s home, which they executed on May 31, 2012.

Schaber, who was issued a $1 million dollar bond. has been in custody since his arrest.

The plea agreement states that Schaber produced 26 sexually-explicit images and videos of female minors who were less than six years of age — and distributed child pornography that he had produced himself , or that he had obtained from the Internet. The images and videos depicted actual and simulated intercourse, oral sex and the lascivious exhibition of the genitals and pubic area of the minors, according to the plea agreement, reports said.

“Mr. Schaber well deserves the lengthy sentence the Court imposed,” said Olson. “His horrific conduct victimized an innocent child. I applaud the quick and efficient work of the ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) investigators in this case. We hope for the ongoing recovery of the victims in this case.”

The case included investigators from the Boise Police Department, the Ada County Sheriff’s Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and other agencies.

Schaber was originally charged in Idaho’s 4th District Court before the case moved to federal court. A grand jury indicted him on 23 federal charges, most of them related to making and distributing child pornography.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The child, who is known to Schaber, is in the custody of the state.