Rossford, 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

Rossford is a small city of approximately 6,000 residents in Wood County, Ohio, located near Perrysburg and Toledo. Its major prostitution and sex trafficking problems have been attributed to its proximity to highways and the Toledo metropolitan area. News reports of widespread truck stop prostitution in Rossford and other communities along the Interstates 75 and 90 highway corridors date back to the 1970s. The highway routes provide a sex buyer base of truckers, and also facilitate the movement of the supply of trafficked and prostituted persons. Truck stops and motels provide places for commercial sex to occur. The Wood County Sheriff’s Office has conducted periodic reverse stings in Rossford since at least 2011; stings targeting the arrest of prostituted persons date back to at least 1977. Photos of and other identifying information about arrested sex buyers have been released to local news outlets.

In February 2014, a web-based reverse sting was conducted in Rossford. Decoy ads were placed online, and meetings were arranged at the Knights Inn, where an undercover female officer waited in one room and a team of police officers fitted with surveillance, video recorders, and mics waited in the next. Four sex buyers were arrested. The men were expected to attend the Lucas County John School Program, which began in 2009 and meets in Toledo.

In November, 2014, four men — including a registered sex offender — were arrested for prostitution-related offenses in Rossford during a law enforcement operation. The undercover solicitation and human trafficking operation was conducted by the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the FBI Human Trafficking Task Force, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, and the Rossford Police Department. The men were charged with solicitation, a third-degree misdemeanor, and their identities were publicly disclosed.

John School – “First Offender Prostitution Program – Lucas County”:
Sex buyers arrested in Rossford have been ordered to attend the John School program in Lucas County. The goal of the program was to reduce demand for commercial sex. There was a fee of $300, and the program incurred no cost to taxpayers. The men were required to attend a one-time class and remain free from reoffending for one year in order to receive a lesser penalty. Men who attended were taught the following:
• Health risks associated with prostitution
• Connection between commercial sex and human trafficking
• Legal consequences
• Encouraged to explore the psycho-social reasons they paid for sex

Key Partners

  • Rossford Police Department
  • Wood County Sheriff’s Office
  • Perrysburg Township Police Department
  • Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation
  • FBI Human Trafficking Task Force

Key Sources

National Assessment Survey

Reverse Stings and Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Reverse Sting and John School:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Ohio
Type City
Population 6316
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