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Culture

Woman charged with offering child for sex online

In what may be an all-time low for child abuse involving the Internet, a woman in Martinez, Calif., was arrested Tuesday for reportedly offering her child up online for sex. Local TV news station KTVU reports that 22-year-old Shannon Nicole Woods caught the eye of a children's protection watchdog group when she posted an ad on popular classifieds site Craigslist. After being tipped off by the group, authorities engaged in an online conversation with the woman, during which she allegedly offered up her four-year-old child for a price of $500.

Child pornographers and sex abusers are increasingly turning to the Web to solicit minors. In June, Yahoo closed down its user-created chat rooms after they were alerted to several chat rooms with names such as "Girls 13 and Under for Older Guys" and "Younger Girls for Older Guys," in which minors were apparently being solicited for sex. And while the bulk of Craigslist's postings are innocuous ads for everything from used couches to concert tickets, offers for various types of sexual liaisons are not hard to find. The site thus allow users to flag postings for inappropriate content.