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Harrison is a suburb of Cincinnati, located in Hamilton County, and has a population of roughly 13,000 residents. Cases of child sex trafficking have occurred in city, and areas of the city are known venues for prostitution. The Harrison Police Department has responded to complaints from residents by conducting street level reverse stings. Most of these operations occurred along a road known for prostitution and arrested several sex buyers each time. The police department has encouraged citizens to call with information or complaints regarding these problems.
On at least one occasion there has also been an opportunistic sex buyer arrest. In January 2013, a Hamilton County man was arrested on charges of compelling prostitution involving a minor victim. The arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Crimes Against Children Unit and the Harrison Police Department. HPD officers requested assistance from the Crimes Against Children Unit after reports that a juvenile was allegedly being solicited for sex by an adult male. The man’s name, age, hometown, and mugshot were released to the press.
In 2019, State Representative Cindy Abrams of Harrison and Rick Carfagna of Genoa Township introduced House Bill 431, which would create a Sexual Exploitation Database in Ohio. The legislation would direct the Attorney General’s office to develop and maintain a database of individuals convicted of solicitation or promoting prostitution. Those convicted on these charges would have their information added to the database for five years. Representative Abrams said of the proposed bill:
“This important legislation would mandate that when johns, pimps, and traffickers are convicted of their crimes, their names, addresses, photographs and offenses would be added to the Sexual Exploitation Database. I came face to face with this crime as a former law enforcement officer. Prostitution on the street fuels drug addiction, sex trafficking and the spread of disease. This is a devastating cycle that needs to be broken. If we can shine a light on this crime, especially those enabling it and supplying the demand for it, I believe we can effect real change.”
Attorney General Yost also expressed support for the proposed legislation, explaining:
“Basic economics works under the premise of supply and demand – and right now we have a demand problem in Ohio. Our goal is to reduce the demand and in return rescue victims from this modern-day slavery. Making that a reality starts by unmasking and penalizing those who buy sex or profit from human trafficking.”
The bill passed through the Ohio State House of Representatives and the Senate in 2020 and was signed into law by the governor in January 2021.
- Harrison Police Department
- Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
- Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
- Crimes Against Children Unit
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.newswatchman.com/community/Hamilton County man arrested for compelling prostitution (2013)
Identity Disclosure Database Legislation:
- https://www.eaglecountryonline.com/news/local-news/state-rep-cindy-abrams-introduces-sexual-exploitation-database-legislation (2019)
- https://ohiohouse.gov/members/cindy-abrams/news/legislation-creating-sexual-exploitation-database-passes-house (2020)
- https://governor.ohio.gov/media/news-and-media/signs-bills-01092021 (2021)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: