Elyria, OH

Tactics Used

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

Elyria is a city in the Greater Cleveland metropolitan statistical area, and serves as the county seat of Lorain County, Ohio.  It is located in Northeast Ohio, bout 25 miles southwest of Cleveland, and has a population of approximately 54,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city, and unincorporated areas of Lorain County.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. For example, in April, 2013 an online prostitution ring was dismantled by the Elyria police, leading to the arrests of a father and son and a woman. One defendant was charged with promoting prostitution and compelling prostitution, and another was charged with compelling prostitution. The pair had orchestrated a prostitution ring on a website where they advertised a woman under their control who would provide sex for money, according to a police statement. The arrests came about in response to citizens complaining to police about the website.

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.  To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and Elyria Police Department have conducted reverse stings.  For example, in December, 2002, the Elyria Police Department and Lorain County Sheriff’s Department arrested and charged 35 individuals with solicitation during a two-day sting.  Numerous citizen complaints fueled the decision to set up the sting, which was paid for with grant money. Police used four undercover female officers in two target areas. One was East 28th Street, Elyria Avenue and Caroline Avenue, and the other was West 18th Street and Broadway.  Undercover agents outfitted with electronic transmitting devices were used as the bait and were monitored by detectives at all times.  Anyone who approached the undercover officers during the two six-hour shifts and initiated conversation relative to sexual activity was arrested.  Convicted individuals could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. he identities of the arrested sex buyers were publicly released.

In 2015, A Cedar Point police officer was assaulted and robbed earlier this week in an Elyria hotel after meeting and paying a woman for sex.  The officer responded to a prostitution ad on Craigslist and had paid the woman he was meeting $100. Before the pair could complete the transaction, the hotel room was stormed by three men and the officer was attacked. The woman was apprehended and charged with complicity to robbery, solicitation and drug paraphernalia.  The sex buyer had been working as a Cedar Point police officer was a part-time Lorain County sheriff’s deputy, resigned from his positions and was charged with a third-degree misdemeanor for soliciting sex (pleaded no contest to the charges).


Key Partners


  • Elyria Police Department
  • Lorain County Sheriff’s Department


State Ohio
Type City
Population 53883
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