FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 6 (UPI) -- Authorities in the Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale and Plantation say attackers are robbing and sometimes raping escorts who advertise their services online.
Investigators said in a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report certain men troll Internet sites such as Backpage.com, looking for escorts. They then make a date with the escort, who is beaten, robbed and sometimes raped.
Investigators said one escort -- most of them are women -- was raped by two men at a Fort Lauderdale hotel.
Investigators, including officers from the Broward County Sheriff's Department, have made five recent arrests and said a continuing investigation could result in more.
"The anonymity of the Internet made it easier for these suspects to set up the escorts," said detective Travis Mandell of the Fort Lauderdale police. l. "When they're posting contact information on there, it makes it easier to set up a situation where they can easily be robbed."
Arrested in May in connection with assaults or robberies of escorts were Eutil Couch, 29, Sunrise, Brandon Lamichael Medina, 23, Hollywood, Keonta Murray, 26, Port St. Lucie, and Henry Ronald Mitchell, 24, and Jonathan H. Williams, 23, both of Fort Lauderdale.