Week In Review

August 13, 2006

Anne Arundel

Internet ads for prostitutes targeted

High-priced prostitutes from out of town have been advertising their services on a popular Internet classifieds site, then coming to the area for a succession of hotel rendezvous, Anne Arundel County police said.

Of the four women whose arrests were announced Tuesday, one is from California, one is from Illinois, one is from Washington, D.C., and the other is from Laurel. All were arrested in the past three weeks at hotels near Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and charged with illegally soliciting sex.

The arrests followed a months-long investigation by the county's vice unit, which has been trolling the Internet in search of "full-service" female escorts, women they suspect of prostitution.

Police arrested the women after reading ads posted on Craigslist that offered services for $140 to $300. Prostitutes arrange several weeks' worth of appointments in advance, then fly into a city to meet with clients, police said in a statement. They then travel to their next destination.

Experts said the online classifieds site Craigslist has become a favorite way for prostitutes to find clients and set up operations in cities where they don't have a network.

Maryland section, Wednesday

Anne Arundel

Academy facing choices on Owens

On the heels of Lamar S. Owens Jr.'s acquittal on rape charges, the Naval Academy faces a tough choice: Graduate the former Navy football star and give him a commission, or expel him for violating academy rules and saddle him with $140,000 in debt and no degree. Either option could bring tremendous political fallout.

The former would anger women's groups and members of Congress who have long pressured the academy to crack down on sexual misconduct and reform a culture that has widely been described as hostile to women. The latter would draw the ire of powerful alumni and possibly minority groups, some of whom object to what they say is a stark double standard in Owens' case.

Four witnesses -- including current midshipmen and recent graduates -- were granted immunity for agreeing to testify at last month's court-martial, according to court testimony. Two female midshipmen -- Owens' accuser and her friend -- admitted underage drinking, renting an off-campus house and other possible rules violations.

A recent graduate and former Navy football player testified to having a "social encounter" with the accuser at Bancroft Hall, potentially a rules violation for both. The fourth witness never took the stand. If Owens is kicked out, it would be for violating academy rules. Owens is African-American; the four granted immunity are white.

A section, Monday

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