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Sebring is a small village of about 4,000 residents in southwestern Mahoning County. It is part of the Youngstown–Warren metropolitan area. Child sexual exploitation has been documented in the village and surrounding county. For example, in June 2022, a man was charged with attempted sexual exploitation of children and receipt and distribution of child pornography (i.e., child sexual abuse material) on various social media platforms.
Local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. In October 2018, bond was revoked for a Lisbon man previously charged with attempting to purchase access to sexually abuse a 12-year-old after he was rearrested on new solicitation charges by the Sebring Police Department. The man was booked back into Mahoning County Jail after violating the terms of his release. He had been indicted earlier in the year on charges of importuning, compelling prostitution, attempted rape, disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile, and possessing criminal tools after he offered an undercover officer whom he thought was a 12-year-old boy $50 for sex, according to the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department. The man was scheduled to go to trial in December in that case, but was rearrested in Sebring after messaging undercover officers on social media offering to pay $100 for sex. He allegedly told the undercover officer that he worked in a motel and would have a room for them, but was afraid of meeting in public because he didn’t want to get caught by police. A warrant was issued for his arrest and investigators forwarded the information to prosecutors, who said the new solicitation charges violated the terms of his bond.
- Sebring Police Department
- Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.morningjournalnews.com/news/local-news/county-man-caught-in-sex-sting (2018)
- https://www.wfmj.com/story/lisbon-man-accused-of-offering-money-for-sex-with-12-year-old-arrested-again (2018)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://www.vindy.com/news/latest-news/20-men-arrested-in-sex-sting (2021)
- https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/men-arrested-in-human-trafficking-sting-appear-in-court (2021)
- https://www.wfmj.com/story/warrant-issued-for-mahoning-valley-human-trafficking-sting-suspect-that-skipped-court-date (2021)
- https://www.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/27-year-old-facing-federal-sex-charges (2022)
- https://www.vindy.com/news/local-news/sebring-man-indicted-on-child-rape-charge (2022)