Sandusky, 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

Sandusky is a city of about 25,000 residents, located on the shores of Lake Erie between Cleveland and Toledo in northern Ohio. It serves as the county seat of Erie County. Prostitution has been documented in the city and the surrounding county. For example, local residents have been arrested in stings targeting prostituted women.

Opportunistic arrests of sex buyers and employment loss are consequences of demand that have occurred in the city. In February 2009, a reserve police officer for the Sandusky Police Department was arrested after allegedly soliciting sex from a 16-year-old girl at his home. The 16- and 20-year-old girls said they were walking down the street when the man stopped and asked if they needed something, then gave them a ride to his residence. Once there, he allegedly asked “how much it would cost” to have sex, but the two girls did not engage in any sexual activities, left the residence, and reported the incident to Sandusky police. The man was charged with compelling prostitution and importuning by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, which was asked to conduct a special investigation to avoid potential conflicts of interest. The man was suspended from working as a Sandusky police officer pending an internal investigation. His name, age, and hometown were released to the public.

In February 2021, a local probation officer was arrested for allegedly paying a child for sex after turning himself in at the Sandusky Police Department. Police alleged that the man engaged in sexual conduct with a teenage boy on multiple occasions and that payment was involved. Police also investigated the possibility of additional victims and identified at least two more. Police learned of the sex allegations after they were called to a home for a weapons offense in which the man reported being assaulted and had injuries to his head. The man was charged with numerous counts of compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony, and tampering with records. While this was not a proactive reverse sting, it is still regarded as an effort specifically targeting and leading to the arrest of a sex buyer, who was then identified in public reports. The man later resigned from his position as a Sandusky Municipal Court probation officer.

Key Partners

  • Sandusky Police Department
  • Erie County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sandusky Municipal Court
State Ohio
Type City
Population 24651
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