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Lorain is a city of approximately 65,000 residents, located in Lorain County about thirty miles west of Cleveland in northeast Ohio. Prostitution and related crimes, including the solicitation of minors for commercial sex acts and the sex trafficking of adults and minors, have been reported in the city for decades. Homicide of prostituted women has also been documented locally.
In their efforts to reduce prostitution activity, the Lorain Police Department has conducted street-level reverse stings in the community since at least 1993. Operations have been conducted periodically; in May 2008, for example, LPD officers conducted a street-level reversal using an undercover female officer as a decoy. The operation resulted in the arrest of six men, including a city councilman. Each sex buyer was charged with solicitation, and his name and other identifying information was released to the local media. In some instances, arrests of sex buyers have been the product of investigations or police responses to reports of prostitution and related crimes.
Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the city. For example, in July 2011, a man resigned from his position as director of community service with the Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCAA, based in Lorain) after he was arrested in a Wood County Sheriff’s Office Internet prostitution sting in Bowling Green. The man had previously served as the Mayor of Avon Lake. He was one of five people arrested by the Wood County Sheriff’s Department in a prostitution sting at a Bowling Green hotel. The LCCAA employee faced charges of solicitation after answering an ad on a website posted by undercover officers posing as prostituted women. Reports indicate the Lorain man agreed to pay $100 to have sex in a motel on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. The sex buyer pleaded no contest in Bowling Green Municipal Court and was fined $500. Days later, he resigned from his position as director of community service with the LCCAA.
- Lorain Police Department
- Elyria Police Department
Street-Level Reverse Stings (with Identity Disclosure since at least 2008):
- “Lorain Sting Nabs 18 Men Soliciting at ‘Notorious’ Spot,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 28 1993.
- “Officer’s Role Probed in Prostitution Sting,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 3 1993.
- “Investigation over Prostitution Sting,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 24 1994.
- “Sergeant Charged in Prostitution Sting,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 25 1994.
- “Trial Set for Lorain Officer in Decoy Case,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 3 1994.
- “Officer Says He Was Investigating Woman,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 22 1994.
- “Officer Indicted in Tip about Sting Fired,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 15 1994.
- “Ex-Policeman Faces Obstruction Charges,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 3 1994.
- “Lorain Policeman on Trial in Tipoff of Decoy,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 24 1994.
- “Lorain Police Nab 35 Men in Soliciting Sting,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 17 2002.
- “Lorain City Councilman Nabbed in Prostitution Sting,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 25 2008.
- “Lorain Councilman Flores Busted in Sex Sting,” Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, May 25 2008.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.morningjournal.com/man-charged-after-picking-up-16-year-old-for-sexual-acts (2009)
- https://www.cleveland19.com/story/sex-sicko-amherst-man-charged-after-paying-teen-girl-for-sex-act (2009)
- https://www.morningjournal.com/man-woman-arrested-on-prostitution-charges (2010)
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:
- https://www.cleveland.com/former_avon_lake_mayor_arreste (2011)
- https://patch.com/former-mayor-vince-urbin-busted-in-prostitution-sting (2011)
- https://www.morningjournal.com/urbin-resigns-from-lccaa-following-prostitution-sting-arrest (2011)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Woman Allegedly Used Juveniles for Prostitution,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 18 1992.
- “Youth Prostitution Case Heading for Grand Jury,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 29 1992.
- “Man Faces New Sex Charges 3 Girls Claim Unwanted Contact,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 25 1999.
- “Tape Shows Store Owner Soliciting Girl, 12,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 21 1999.
- “Furniture Salesman Admits Paying Teens for Sex,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 22 1999.
- “Furniture Store Owner Gets 6 Years; He Is Convicted of Soliciting Sex from Teens, Threatening Woman,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 24 1999.
- “Man Charged with Raping, Holding Woman Captive,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 8 2000.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “White Slave Ring Broken, Seven Named,” Milwaukee Journal, August 18 1942.
- “Lorain Woman Convicted of Solicitation,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 11 1992.
- “Man Freed, Woman Jailed,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 11 1992.
- “Woman Faces Sex Charge as Man Goes Free,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 11 1992.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area;
- “Lorain Man May Get New Trial in Murder; He Has Served 16 Years in Prostitute’s Killing,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 12 2012.
- “Judge Will Rule on Murder Conviction Appeal in 22-Year-Old Lorain Case,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17 2013.