Norwalk, 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

Norwalk is a city of approximately 17,000 residents, situated about midway between Akron and Cleveland in Huron County, Ohio. Prostitution has been a well-documented problem in the city for many years. Among the crimes association with the local prostitution market is the assault of sex buyers. For example, in September 2008, a Norwalk police officer arrested three people after observing an altercation that began when a suspected prostituted woman and her friend allegedly tried to rob a man who allegedly attempted to “solicit services.” A patrol officer saw the two men punching each other in the area of 107 South Main St. One was allegedly holding a knife, and the officer stopped and ordered him to drop the weapon. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the man with the knife tried to purchase sexual services from the woman, and the second man appeared suddenly and took the money out of the sex buyer’s hand. It appeared from further investigation that the man was set up and robbed. The woman was charged with prostitution, conspiracy, and second-degree robbery. Her associate was charged with making a false statement, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of paraphernalia within 1,500 feet of a school, conspiracy, and second-degree robbery. The sex buyer was charged with patronizing a prostitute, criminal attempt, and second-degree assault.

In an effort to reduce the consumer-level demand for prostitution, the Norwalk Police Department and Huron County Sheriff’s Office have conducted at least one reverse sting and publicized the identities of the men arrested. In September 2010, Huron County Sheriff’s deputies arrested three men during a sting operation targeting a web-based prostitution service that fulfilled sexual, sadomasochistic fetishes. A local teacher was among the men arrested. Acting on a tip about a prostitution ring operating in the 3500 block of Ninevah Road in Greenwich, deputies went to that address and arrested and charged one man with fourth-degree felony solicitation. He was released from jail after posting bond the day after his arrest. Following that arrest, HCSO deputies launched an undercover investigation targeting similar prostitution activity in the area, yielding two more arrests, each charged with soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor. The two arrestees were among “dozens” who responded to requests from an undercover agent posing as a prostituted woman on the same website used by the operation resulting in the first arrest. The two sex buyers arrested had made appointments to meet with the prostituted person at a Norwalk hotel, requesting sexual acts using props such as a dog cage, bowl, and collar, as well as masking tape, whips, and a rubber ruler.

In March 2013, undercover deputies arrested eight people during a web-based reverse sting. People made contact with agents and arrangements were made for sex, and they were arrested when they appeared in person and made a proposition. The deputies — both men and women —posed undercover to provide a criminal opportunity for prostituted persons, pimps, and sex buyers who responded to an online ad. Working with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, deputies charged eight people by the operation’s end. Six people were charged with solicitation, one with complicity to prostitution, and one with attempted solicitation.

Key Partners

  • Norwalk Police Department
  • Huron County Sheriff’s Office
State Ohio
Type City
Population 17015
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