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Fremont is a city in and the county seat of Sandusky County, Ohio. It is about 35 miles from Toledo and 25 miles from Sandusky, and is classified as part of the Toledo metropolitan area. Its population is roughly 16,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented problems in Fremont, and throughout Sandusky County and the region, and the sex trade generates numerous complaints and other types of crime. For example, in January 2020, an undercover investigation overseen by the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrests of 15 people for prostitution-related charges. Detectives and the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force had received tips about prostitution occurring in Sandusky County. The Sandusky County Sheriff said at the time that the crime of prostitution brings with it the potential for numerous other crimes including rape, assault, drug abuse, robbery, human trafficking, and homicide. The sheriff’s office worked with the county drug task force, the FBI, Fremont Police and the Wood County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an undercover investigation to stop prostitution and rescue victims of human trafficking. The investigation led to arrests on charges that included prostitution, soliciting prostitution, and promoting prostitution. Three people had outstanding warrants, and potential drug-related charges were also expected.
Some local operations have specifically targeted sex buyers in an effort to attack the revenue stream of all sex trafficking and prostitution. For example, in July 2022, a man pleaded guilty to two felony sex crimes involving children in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced to nine months in jail. Fremont Police arrested the man in December 2021 and charged him with several felonies after he offered to have sex with a Fremont police officer posing as a 15-year-old girl chatting on a social networking platform. According to a Fremont Police incident report, the man offered to engage in sexual conduct with the officer and said he would pay $150. The man later traveled to a prearranged location in Fremont, where he was arrested. The man was initially charged with importuning, compelling prostitution, and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He pleaded guilty to and was sentenced on importuning, a fifth-degree felony, and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony. The compelling prostitution charge was dismissed. The offender was booked into the Sandusky County Jail on June 30, 2022. The Sandusky County Clerk of Courts indicated that the offender would be subject to a five-year term of post-release control, and must register as a sex offender or child victim offender for a period of 25 years, with in-person verification every 180 days.
- Fremont Police Department
- Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office
- Wood County Sheriff’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- https://advertiser-tribune.com/news/sting-led-to-fostoria-school-board-candidates-arrest (2021)
- https://www.thenews-messenger.com/man-sentenced-nine-months-jail-sex-related-crimes-minor-fremont (2022)
- https://reviewtimes.com/news/jury-trial-set-for-man-charged-with-attempted-sex-crime (2022)
- https://www.yahoo.com/fremont-police-arrest-toledo-man (2022)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://www.wtol.com/16-year-old-rescued-in-wood-county-prostitution-sting-7-arrested (2014)
- https://sanduskyregister.com/15-arrested-in-prostitution-bust (2020)
- https://www.13abc.com/Fifteen-people-arrested-in-Sandusky-County-prostitution-sting (2020)
- https://www.toledoblade.com/15-people-arrested-in-human-trafficking-sting-in-Sandusky-County (2020)
- https://advertiser-tribune.com/news/school-board-council-candidate-charged-with-sex-crimes (2021)
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