Bedford, OH

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Bedford is a city located east of Cleveland, OH, in Cuyahoga County. It has a population of approximately 13,000 residents and is considered an eastern first ring suburb of the City of Cleveland. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and within neighboring communities. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.

Officials have been known to take considerable action in order to reduce the demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking within the city. For example, in 2013 the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from several local police departments, conducted a joint operation that resulted in the arrest of 15 male sex buyers. The undercover prostitution investigation was conducted at a local hotel over the course of three nights. According to officials, decoy female officers posing as prostituted women received numerous calls from men seeking to engage in commercial sex. The sex buyers were arrested upon their arrival at the hotel. Among the 15 arrested sex buyers was a Cleveland Browns linebacker. According to reports, the NFL player was found guilty of disorderly conduct and was forced to pay a $365 fine in addition to making a public apology to his wife and team. The team did not seek disciplinary conduct. The arrested sex buyers were scheduled to appear in Bedford Municipal Court in May of 2013.

In 2014, a man police believed to be a sex trafficker/pimp was arrested outside a motel during a countywide prostitution sting called Operation Cross Country. Operation Cross Country was the result of collaborative efforts from federal, state, and local agencies addressing the issue of demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking within the county. Investigators scanned for potential prostitution advertisements on, a website known for hosting prostitution advertisements, and discovered a phone number for a woman suspected of offering sexual services. Officers contacted the woman and arranged a time to meet at the motel. Upon the arrival of the suspected sex trafficker/pimp and the prostituted woman, officers arrested the man on sex trafficking charges. The woman was not arrested for any crimes and allegedly told officials that the man in the car with her was not her sex trafficker/pimp, but a friend. The offender faced the felony charge of supervising prostitution activities in Bedford Municipal Court with a bond set to $5,000.

Identity disclosure and loss of employment are consequences of sex buying that have occurred within the city. For example, in 2013, an investigation into the undercover prostitution ring operating as a massage parlor called Studio54 resulted in prostitution and public corruption charges being filed against a municipal judge, the city’s law director, and the owner of the building. According to the Bedford Police Department, officials had videotaped individuals entering and exiting the office building where a brothel was suspected of operating for over six months. Video evidence and victim testimonies against the suspected offenders resulted in the suspension, resignation, and eventual termination of a Bedford Municipal Court Judge and a former Bedford Law Director’s licenses, in addition to the arrest of the building’s owner. The former Bedford Municipal Judge was charged in December of 2013 with six misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution from three women. He was also charged with felony counts of bribery and promoting prostitution. Prosecutors later added tampering with records charges and accused him of falsifying records and resolving a case outside of a courtroom involving a prostituted woman at the brothel. The offender was sentenced to two months in jail after he was convicted of soliciting prostitution charges and falsifying court records. In addition, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended the former judge for two years from the bench, and he retired before his 2014 sentencing, allowing him to maintain his pension. The former Law Director resigned his law license after being indicted on charges of bribery, theft in office, soliciting improper compensation, money laundering, obstructing justice, falsification, and soliciting prostitution. The owner of the building and operator of the Studio 54 massage parlor was indicted on charges of promoting prostitution and money laundering.

State Ohio
Type City
Population 12935
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