is it illegal to respond to an adult services ad via e mail on craigslist?

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is it illegal to respond to an adult services ad via e mail on craigslist?

if someone only responded to the ads but never met up with any one, sent very vague messages like “interested” or one or two including their phone number, when they call the person states they arent interested, if they replied to the person but he never replied back, only sent about 5 e mails but never once replied back confirming a date, time, agreement on anything, is this illegal? Can someone get in trouble for this?

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of New York, the general rule is that there is a difference between "solicitation" of a crime, and actually committing a crime (in this case, patronizing a prostitute).  The crime of solicitation (which can be applied in varying criminal contexts -- it is not just limited to prostitution) involves asking someone to engage in illegal behavior.  Therefore, depending on the specific content of the emails, it is theoretically possible that one or more of them may constitute the crime of solicitation.  Although I think that it is generally unlikely that law enforcement would arrest an individual for solicitation on this basis, given the recent attention drawn to craigslist it definitely is possible.  Therefore, I recommend that whoever sent the emails consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney to protect his/her rights with respect to this matter from this point forward.


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