Mayors urge checks on Phoenix-based online escort ads - CBS 5 - KPHO

Mayors urge checks on Phoenix-based online escort ads

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SEATTLE (AP) -

Mayors of nearly 50 cities across the country are urging Village Voice Media to require identification for people posting escort ads on its Backpage.com -- an online ad service that has come under scrutiny from authorities for allegations that's it's used to promote child prostitution.

In a letter sent Monday by the United States Conference of Mayors, the cities' leaders say that authorities continue to find advertisements on Backpage.com that "reflect underage sex trafficking."

Backpage.com critics say the site is used to advertise underage prostitutes, often victims of sex trafficking.

Village Voice Media owns 13 alternative weekly newspapers, including Phoenix New Times.

Critics estimate that Village Voice Media makes more than $22 million per year from sex-related ads, a figure the Phoenix-based company has not disputed.

Copyright2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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