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Erie County is a county of approximately 75,000 residents located in northern Ohio, about midway between Toledo and Cleveland. Its county seat is Sandusky. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the county. For example, in 2019 a local massage business was raided as part of a multi-county sex trafficking investigation. The owner was indicted on 39 charges including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, promoting prostitution, tax fraud, and practicing medicine without a certificate.
At least one opportunistic arrest of a sex buyer has occurred in the county. In August 2002, an Erie County commissioner pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of menacing by stalking a 14-year-old girl for commercial sexual abuse. In exchange for his plea, felony charges of compelling prostitution for allegedly soliciting sex from the girl were dropped, according to Erie County Common Pleas Court records. The incident involving the man occurred in November, when he circled the victim’s neighborhood in his minivan a dozen times and stopped to talk to the girl. He was a former school superintendent in his hometown of Perkins Township. In addition to his identity being included in new reports, he was fined $1,000 and placed on 30 days house arrest. He did not seek re-election for the term that expired at the end of the year.
- Erie County Sheriff’s Office
- Erie County Common Pleas Court
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://advertiser-tribune.com/news/tolerating-prostitution (2019)
- https://sanduskyregister.com/news/fbi-sex-trafficking-probe-nets-9-in-erie-county (2019)
- https://reviewtimes.com/news/law-increases-penalties-for-promoting-prostitution (2019)
- https://thecourier.com/news/human-trafficking-happens-in-erie-county-sheriff-says (2019)
- https://reviewtimes.com/news/man-indicted-on-human-trafficking-in-erie-county (2019)