THE IMPACT: Experts say the rise of online sex ads has made prostitution and sex trafficking less visible and greatly expanded its reach into suburban Massachusetts.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth and final installment in a series of stories exploring human trafficking in Massachusetts.
The woman, aged in her 30s, was attacked near her apartment in Van Nuys, Los Angeles at 5.45am on Saturday.
Microsoft employees built the bot in a philanthropic initiative called Project Intercept, in collaboration with nonprofits that hope it can reduce demand for sex workers, and the incentives for criminals to coerce people into the sex trade.
Scroll down for video The woman told police she was walking in the area of 14000 block of Vanowen Street in Van Nuys when a Hispanic man confronted her.
Police said he stepped in front of the victim and spoke to her before suddenly reaching out to grab her.
They say we don’t have a problem because we don’t see it.” Adult classified websites are filled with ads selling sex, often thinly disguised as massage or “bodyworks” services.
Others use coded language to advertise sex in posts masquerading as personal ads.