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Painesville is a community of approximately 21,000 residents, situated along Lake Erie east of Cleveland near Willoughby in Lake County, Ohio. Prostitution is a problem that the Painesville Police Department has focused on as a “quality of life” issue that they do not want to see become more widespread. At least one case of attempted child sex trafficking has also been documented in the community; in September 2013, PPD officers arrested a 64-year-old man for allegedly trying to solicit sex for money from a child.
In their efforts to reduce prostitution, Painesville police have conducted stings targeting sex buyers since at least 2001. In one instance, men arrested for attempting to buy sex have accepted an odd form of diversion, agreeing to stand in front of the courthouse wearing a chicken suit in exchange for having their cases dismissed. In 2007, a Painesville Municipal Court Judge made three offenders carry a sign (while wearing chicken suits) that stated, “There is no chicken ranch in Painesville,” in reference to the famous Texas brothel. While sex buyers have not had their names posted in news outlets, one could argue that the chicken suit experience constituted identity disclosure.
- Painesville Police Department
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Man Chased in Sting Is Hurt in Fall,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 23 2001.
- “Sting in Painesville,” Cleveland News-Herald, November 25 2006.
- “Men Who Solicited Sex Will Wear Chicken Suit,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 26 2007.
- “Soliciting Sex Draws Fowl Sentence for 3,” Associated Press Online, July 26 2007.
- “Sentence for Sex-for-Hire Is No Joke for Feathered Trio in Painesville,” Akron Beacon Journal, July 27 2007.
- “State Briefs; Men Sentenced to Wear Chicken Suits,” Portsmouth Daily Times, July 27 2007.
- “Putnam County Shoplifters to Carry Signs in Lieu of Jail,” Ocala Star-Banner, October 21 2007.
- “Signs, Chicken Suits and Yoga: Unusual Sentences Rarely Challenged,” Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail, November 4 2007.
- “In Lieu of Jail, Some Offenders Must Carry Signs, Wear Chicken Suits,” Associated Press Online, November 7 2007.
- “Judges Offer Unusual Sentences,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 11 2007.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Police Say Man Sought Sex with Boy,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 19 2012.
- “Painesville Man Sentenced for Trying to Pay to Have Sex with Child,” Cleveland News-Herald, January 23 2013.
Background on Prostitution in the Area: