Guernsey 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

Guernsey County, Ohio has a population of roughly 38,000 residents, and its county seat is the city of Cambridge. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity within the county have been well-documented. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

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. While the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office has not (to our knowledge) conducted standard, proactive reverse stings for prostitution, the agency has responded to tips and launched investigations that have resulted in the arrest and identity disclosure of sex buyers. For example, in February 2018, a 76-year-old Cumberland man was charged with compelling prostitution, a second degree felony, and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third degree felony. He was taken into custody after the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at his home. He was found to have solicited a minor to engage in sexual activity between January 2015 and January 2018 at his home. The victim was under the age of 16. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Crimes against Children Unit and Crime Scene Units from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations from the Ohio Highway Patrol.

In July 2019, the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division announced it had arrested and charged a 29-year-old man with compelling prostitution, a felony of the third degree. A week-long investigation was initiated after investigators received information that the suspect had reportedly offered to pay a minor for a sexual act. Several other victims later came forward with the same allegations. The ages of the victims range from age 14 to 25. Detectives were able to determine that the suspect met some of his victims while performing his duties as a volunteer band instructor at a local school district, although no soliciting was believed to have occurred on campus. In March 2020, the man was sentenced to 54 months in prison after accepting a negotiated plea agreement and being convicted on three counts of compelling prostitution in the Guernsey County Common Pleas Court.

Key Partners

  • Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office
  • Ohio Highway Patrol Bureau of Criminal Investigations
    • Crimes against Children Unit
    • Crime Scene Units
State Ohio
Type County
Population 38287
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