Craigslist's decision to curb sex ads welcome, but authorities skeptical

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Craigslist's decision to ax its free "erotic services" category — long blasted by police as a front for illicit sexual offerings — is being hailed as a positive step toward deterring such activity.

But law enforcement agents locally and nationally remain skeptical that the category's elimination will do much to actually limit access to such listings on the Web.

"If they take away the Craigslist ads, the people who want the service will look for it in other ways," said El Dorado County Sheriff's Lt. Bryan Golmitz, whose department helped in one high-profile case that ended in a guilty plea this month. "They will find the next free advertising online site."

Erotic services ads currently online will expire from Craigslist in seven days. They will be replaced by a category listing "adult services" ads that customers must pay for, the company said Wednesday.

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