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Middletown is a city of approximately 49,000 residents, located 40 miles north of Cincinnati in southwestern Ohio. The city is located in both Butler and Warren Counties. Prostitution has been a persistent and visible problem in the area for decades, and involves a wide range of additional crimes such as illicit drug offenses, rape, and the production of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). For example, in September, 2012, a Butler County grand jury indicted five men on various sex charges, including rape and compelling prostitution. In December, 2014, a Middletown man was arrested and faced multiple child pornography and prostitution charges for allegedly offering a mother $2,000 to film sex acts of him with her three young daughters, ages 13, 6 and 3. The mother of these three children indicated she had been sexually assaulted by him as a child, and he had recontacted her. He was arrested by Middletown police after the mother told detectives he had contacted her with explicit sexual messages about what he wanted to with her daughters. Detectives found “child pornography” in the offender’s possession, and believed the man was trying to recreate some of those images. The man was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on four counts of compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony; one charge of attempted gross sexual imposition involving a child under the age of 13, a fourth-degree felony; five counts of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor, a fourth-degree felony; and one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, a fifth-degree felony.
To address the issue, the Middletown Police Department has routinely conducted street-level reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. Guided by community complaints, operations have typically utilized one or more undercover female officers, who pose as decoys. As sex buyers attempt to solicit sex from the women, they are quickly arrested. By targeting the underlying issue of consumer-level demand, Middletown Police have noticed substantial gains in their efforts to curtail commercial sex sales in the city’s downtown business district. After creating a four-person task force designed to fight prostitution and drug-related crime in the summer of 2010, officers were able to arrest a total of 48 individuals on solicitation-related charges.
- Middletown Police Department
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “20 Busted in Prostitution Sting”, WKRC TV Cincinnati, March 23 2009.
- “5 Arrests Made in Middletown Prostitution Bust”, WXIX Fox 19, July 2 2010.
- “Numerous Arrests in Middletown Prostitution Sting”, WCPO ABC 9, July 27 2010.
- “39 Prostitution Arrests Credited to Summer Police Task Force”, The Middletown Journal, August 23 2010.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Targeting Prostitution Good for Business”, The Middletown Journal, April 5 2009.
- “Seven Arrested in Middletown Prostitution Sting”, WXIX Fox 19, June 25 2010.
- “Prostitution Arrests Declining in Middletown”, The Middletown Journal, March 9 2012.
- https://www.journal-news.com/news/prostitution-case-brings-middletown-action-on-massage-parlors (2020)
Local Sex Trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation, Related CSAM and Other Crimes:
- https://www.daytondailynews.com/grand-jury-indicts-men-various-sex-charges-rape-compelling-prostitution (2012)
- https://www.journal-news.com/news/middletown-prostitution-sting-nets-arrests (2013)
- https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/police-suspect-offers-mother-t0-have-sex-with-young-daughters (2014)
- https://www.fox19.com/middletown-woman-who-survived-sex-slavery-shares-story-as-police-warn-about-current-dangers (2017)
- https://www.journal-news.com/prostitution-ohio-new-state-system-could-shame-male-customers (2020)
- https://www.daytondailynews.com/middletown-woman-and-sex-trafficking-survivor-freed-by-dewine-returns-to-prison (2022)