Blue Ash, 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

Blue Ash is city in southwestern Ohio of roughly 13,000 residents. It is an inner suburb of Cincinnati, located in Hamilton County, OH. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city, surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Hamilton County. For example, in December 2016, two men were indicted for operating a sex trafficking ring involving several women out of a hotel in Blue Ash. One defendant was charged with four counts of trafficking in persons, four counts of compelling prostitution, four counts of promoting prostitution, one count of trafficking cocaine, one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, and one count of tampering with evidence. The other defendant was accused of “maintaining” several women who would perform sexual acts in exchange for money, with all of the money paid for the sex acts turned over to the man, who would pay the women with crack and heroin; he was charged with four counts of trafficking in persons, four counts of compelling prostitution, and four counts of promoting prostitution. In October 2020, police in Blue Ash arrested four people they charged with compelling a 16-year-old girl into prostitution; the arrest followed a prostitution sting at a local hotel. Commercial sex activity such as this, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates, result in frequent complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. When surveyed for the 2012 National Assessment, representatives of the Blue Ash Police Department reported that they had conducted street-level, web-based, and other media-based reverse stings since 2001, in addition to using identity disclosure of sex buyers to deter prostitution. They also reported that reverse stings were conducted two or three times per year at that time.

In December, 2022, it was announced that federal agents arrested a former U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officer on federal charges claiming he abused his position to coerce sex from victims under his supervision in the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. A federal grand jury had returned a seven-count indictment charging him with sex trafficking by means of force, fraud or coercion, depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under color of law, tampering with witnesses and obstructing a federal investigation. According to the indictment, he sexually assaulted at least two females under his supervision in the ATD program, which allows certain asylum seekers and other immigrants who ICE had determined posed a low risk to public safety to remain in their communities while their immigration cases were pending. The suspect was employed as a deportation officer with ICE from 2006 to 2020 and was assigned to the ICE office in Blue Ash, Ohio. In his role, the man supervised immigrants with vulnerable backgrounds including those fleeing violence, exploitation and sexual assault. The defendant was given discretion over the degree of freedom and movement afforded to participants under his supervision. He had the authority to decide the type of monitoring, frequency of reporting and level of supervision, as well as the authority to recommend that ATD participants who violated conditions of the program be detained or deported. While not a typical case of a sex buyer arrest, we are counting it as such for the purposes of Demand Forum.  The man’s offenses included exchanging sex for something of value, and he was arrested and his identity publicly disclosed.

Key Sources

National Assessment Survey and Interview (2012)

Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Ohio
Type City
Population 13334
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