Amherst, OH

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Amherst is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, located about 30 miles west of Cleveland. Its population is about 12,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well documented problems within Amherst and throughout the county. For example, in September 2010, two Lorain County men were arrested after it was determined that they paid to sexually abuse an underage girl and then streamed it on adult web-sites for profit. deputies arrested the men and they were charged with sexual imposition, compelling prostitution, pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering obscenity, and importuning. Police had received a call from a woman stating that she believed that at least two men were sexually involved with her daughter and that it was being streamed on the internet, according to Amherst police. The girl was under the age of 16 at the time. Police believed more youths under 18, both male and female, could be involved and that they were paid for access to sexually abuse them. The men were held at the Lorain County Jail and scheduled to appear in Oberlin Municipal Court. In March 2021, a random registration check in a parking lot in Amherst found a vehicle owner wanted on an active warrant. A traffic stop was conducted and the man was taken into custody for a felony secret indictment warrant for rape, pandering sexually oriented matter, endangering children, gross sexual imposition, compelling prostitution, and attempted pandering of obscenity. Amherst police also charged him with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Among the methods of addressing problems associated with the sex trade are those targeting demand. For example, in August 2021, three men were arrested in Amherst and charged with soliciting prostitution in a reverse sting at a motel on state Route 58. The identities of the men were included in news reports. The sting was carried out in cooperation with the Cuyahoga County Human Trafficking Task Force and Lorain County Prosecutor’s Investigative Unit. The hotel had a long history of reports to police for a wide range of crimes and problems, including overdoses, thefts, fights, and rapes. Police said the hotel’s proximity to larger cities, easy access from state Route 2, and low rates made the motel a likely place for prostitution, and that any time prostitution is occurring, human trafficking is likely.

Key Partners

  • Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office
    • Investigative Unit
  • Amherst Police Department
  • Cuyahoga County Human Trafficking Task Force
State Ohio
Type City
Population 12108
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