The advertisement appeared on Craigslist in early December. "Need a real aggressive man with no concern for women," read the posting on the Internet classified advertising forum. Its purported author was a Casper, Wyo., woman, whose photo also was posted.Here's a clue for anyone who sees an ad like this and doesn't want to be arrested and convicted, talk to the person who allegedly has the violent fantasy face to face prior to beginning to act out the requested fantasy. Anyone who doesn't verify with the person who allegedly wants to act out a violent fantasy that they are in reality the person who created the ad should be treated as just as guilty as the person who created the ad.
One week later, a man accepted the offer, forcing his way into the woman's home, tying her up and raping her at knifepoint. "I'll show you aggressive," he allegedly said, according to court testimony.
In fact, authorities say, the woman had nothing to do with the ad. Instead, they say, a former boyfriend had posted it, soliciting her assault.
Feeling like the ad was legit and having no proof that the ad was placed to facilitate a rape is not good enough and should never be an allowable defense.
If the law in any jurisdiction allows people who respond to these types of ads to not always be held legally accountable for their actions then the law needs to change immediately. If the law doesn't view placing these fraudulent ads as a felony then that too needs to change. Soliciting someone to commit murder is a crime and soliciting someone to commit rape must be a crime as well even if the person being sought may not consider what they are doing to be rape.
This isn't the first time someone set up a fake Craigslist ad in order to see someone raped. It must be the last however.
Being caught setting up this type of ad should be a felony whether or not anyone answers the ad. The information in the original ad compromised this woman's safety.
The victim in this case learned about the ad a few days after it was placed and contacted the police but the man who set up the ad wasn't arrested and while Craigslist took the ad down they should have redacted certain information and then broadcast that this ad was a hoax and that anyone who did as the ad requested would be committing a felony.
Currently, owners of websites are protected from liability for actions taken by those who use their website and while websites shouldn't be liable for the actions of others they should be liable for their own actions and for their failure to act with due diligence when they learn someone has misused their site to commit a crime or to harm someone.