Portage Township is a community of approximately 1,600 residents, located in Ottawa County in northwest Ohio. In March 2013, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation and the FBI’s Northwest Ohio Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force, conducted a reverse sting at a local hotel. The deputies — both men and women —posed undercover as prostitutes, pimps and sex buyers who responded to an online ad, and arranged to meet at the hotel in Portage Township. Five men were arrested and charged with solicitation after attempting to purchase sex from undercover officers. A sixth man was arrested and charged with attempted solicitation. All had their names publicized by the local media.
In September, 2020, a Portage woman was charged in Columbia County Circuit Court with felony soliciting a child for prostitution, two counts of felony attempting to expose intimate parts to a child, and misdemeanor fourth degree sexual assault. According to the criminal complaint, a 17-year-old girl accused the defendant of inappropriate contact with her since September 2019. The child alleged that the woman offered to give her rides, money or prescription medication in exchange for sexual acts, and also reported receiving inappropriate photos. A 14-year-old boy told the officer that the same woman had offered to perform a sexual act on him while giving him a ride.
- Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 8 Arrests”, Port Clinton News Herald, March 27 2013.
- “Undercover Agents Arrest 8 in Prostitution Sting”, WNWO/Northwest Ohio, March 27 2013.
- https://www.wiscnews.com/portagedailyregister/news/local/portage-woman-accused-of-soliciting-child-for-prostitution/article_22d7ca8b-acf6-5043-becb-5d98608aa59d.html (2020)