CHICAGO — Cook County's sheriff filed a lawsuit Thursday against Craigslist, saying the popular online classifieds site not only allows the solicitation of prostitution but also has actively created "the largest source of prostitution in America."
"They've actually catered their site so it facilitates [prostitution], where you can actually and more specifically and quickly get to what you want," Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said at a news conference while announcing the federal lawsuit.
Craigslist spokeswoman Susan Best said that although the company had not seen the lawsuit, it vehemently disputes the sheriff's contentions. The company cooperates with law enforcement, has taken several steps to prevent illegal use of the site and pulls inappropriate ads, she added.
"Misuse of Craigslist to facilitate criminal activity is unacceptable, and we continue to work diligently to prevent it," Best said.
But Dart said Craigslist had refused over the last two years to prevent people from posting the ads that pop up by the thousands in its "Erotic Services" section.