Sites to find sex
That resistance is on full display one afternoon this fall when I take a short walk around the neighborhood. “I used to get Red Book reviews, but they took it down.”Omuro started Redbook so that Bay Area mongers would have a home on the web.
I count five women standing on various corners, some actively waving at cars, others more carefully making low-key eye contact with male drivers as they cruise by. She wears a black tank top with spaghetti straps, mommish jeans, and a San Francisco Giants sweatshirt tied around her waist. It succeeded, ultimately attracting so many users that the site became a full-fledged business, with massive profits.
The Feds' message, still up today, asserts that there is probable cause that the site was involved in “money laundering derived from racketeering based on prostitution.”Federal agents arrested Omuro, 54, along with Annmarie Lanoce, a 41-year-old bespectacled mother from Rocklin, California, a suburb of Sacramento.
(Lanoce worked for Omuro, helping to moderate Red Book and manage its operations.) Their homes were raided and their computer equipment confiscated.
But the most valuable part of the site was its reviews section.Its ugly, bare-bones design was straight out of the early 2000s.It resembled a web page you might use to find a new job or a secondhand bike.Omuro also added a key functionality—he made it possible for sex workers to advertise their services.Red Book may have been full of racy talk and the promise of erotic assignations, but the site itself was anything but sexy.You could pay a month for access to the section, where VIP customers shared detailed write-ups of their experiences with escorts, BDSM providers, and erotic masseuses.As part of their reviews, users listed the services they received, as well as details about the provider's physical attributes.Until last summer, pretty much anyone buying or selling sex in the San Francisco Bay Area used my Red For more than a decade, the site commonly referred to as Red Book served as a vast catalog of carnal services, a mashup of Craigslist, Yelp, and Usenet where sex workers and hundreds of thousands of their customers could connect, converse, and make arrangements for commercial sex.The US attorney's office declined to offer any comment, but its indictment speaks for itself.Both Omuro and Lanoce initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, but in November Lanoce changed her plea in the hope that it might allow her to avoid a felony sentence in exchange for good behavior.