Butler County, 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

Butler County is a county of about 390,000 residents located in southwestern Ohio on the border with Indiana, just north of Cincinnati. Its county seat is Hamilton. Liberty Township is another town in the county that has worked to address demand for commercial sex. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the county for years. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are child endangerment and child sex trafficking.

Among the tactics used to curtail prostitution and sex trafficking, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office has assisted local law enforcement with operations targeting sex buyers in an effort the curb the demand that drives the local commercial sex market. For example, in July 2011, eleven people were arrested for prostitution-related crimes in a sting in Hamilton. The Butler County Sheriff’s Office initiated the undercover action on East Avenue through the afternoon and into the evening. Eight women and three men were charged with soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor. All were arraigned in city Municipal Court and had their names and other identifying information released to the public. The Sheriff’s Office said the neighborhood was plagued by blatant prostitution and they orchestrated the crackdown after receiving repeated complaints from residents. The Butler County Sheriff said, “If you’re someone who’s out here, and you think it’s a victimless crime, think again…We get written complaints, we get phone complaints, we get walk-in complaints.” The sheriff also explained that much of this activity was driven by drug use. Hamilton Police have done regular solicitation sweeps, sometimes partnering with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, and deputies have regularly helped out area departments throughout the county to conduct stings.

In March 2019, eight men were arrested in Liberty Township during a statewide effort to crack down on sex trafficking. The operation was conducted by the Ohio Attorney General’s office and Liberty Township Police, who posed as young girls in online ads and chatrooms and set up meetings with the suspects, who were then arrested when they appeared at the agreed upon location and time. In most cases the suspects apparently believed they were meeting girls who were underage. Seven of the men arrested were charged with possession of criminal tools and solicitation, and the eighth suspect also faced felony drug possession charges. The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force assisted in the operation.

Key Partners

  • Butler County Sheriff’s Office
  • Butler County Regional Drug Task Force
  • Hamilton Police Department
  • Liberty Township Police Department
  • Ohio Attorney General’s Office
    • Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crimes Against Children Unit
  • Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force
    • Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office
    • Ohio State Highway Patrol
    • Ohio Adult Parole Authority
    • Austintown Police Department
    • New Middletown Police Department
    • Warren Police Department
    • Ohio Investigative Unit
    • Youngstown Police Department

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Ohio
Type County
Population 390234
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