Massillon, 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

Massillon is a city in northeastern Ohio, located in Stark County roughly 50 miles south of Cleveland. It has a population of approximately 32,000 residents and is the second-largest incorporated area within the Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city. Among the more serious problems associated with the local commercial sex trade is the sex trafficking of adults and minors. For example, in 2019, the Jackson Township Police Department conducted a web-based operation that targeted individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex or sex trafficking in addition to identifying and rescuing potential victims of sex trafficking. According to reports, the investigation consisted of officers posting decoy advertisements online, posing as a 13-year-old girl, and communicating with potential sex buyers. The investigation resulted in the arrest of a 24-year-old man on felony charges of attempting to commit unlawful sexual contact with a minor and importuning. According to officials, the sex buyer responded to a chat with an undercover officer from the Canton Police Department and discussed engaging in sexual acts in exchange for money with the undercover officer. Additionally, the offender agreed to meet the undercover officer at a local hotel, where he was arrested upon arrival. The Jackson Township Police Department led the investigation, with assistance from Canton, North Canton, and Wooster police officers, as well as the FBI’s Canton Office and the Massillon City Prosecutor. A preliminary hearing for the man was scheduled in Massillon Municipal Court. The offender’s identity was released in reports from local news sources.

Loss of employment is another consequence of sex buying that has occurred in the city. For example, in 2021, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 10 men in connection to a recent investigation into sex trafficking in the state of Ohio. Assisting in the investigation were the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Akron Police Department, Adult Parole Authority, and the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office. According to reports, officials posted decoy advertisements on websites known for prostitution and communicated with potential sex buyers in the area. The 10 male sex buyers were arrested upon their arrival at the agreed-upon location and were charged with engaging in prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison if convicted. One of the arrested offenders was a middle school health and physical education teacher with the Massillon City School District. According to a statement from the school’s superintendent, the Summit County Sheriff’s Department notified the school’s superintendent upon the offender’s arrest and the school immediately placed the teacher on administrative leave and he was prohibited from returning to school grounds:

“On the morning of Monday, April 26th, 2021, I received notification from the Summit County Sheriff’s department that one of our employees was arrested and charged on Saturday evening April 24th, 2021. This employee was immediately placed on administrative leave effective Monday, April 26th, 2021, and will not be permitted on any school property. I communicated to the Summit County Sheriff’s department that the Massillon City Schools will cooperate and assist with any information needed. The timing of this statement is certainly a part of our district’s cooperation with law enforcement. I have been assured by the authorities that this arrest was not related to any juvenile/student (s). The Massillon City Schools takes the safety and security of our students and staff extremely seriously.”

State Ohio
Type City
Population 32146
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