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Sharonville is a city of approximately 15,000 residents in southwestern Ohio, situated just north of Cincinnati, located in Hamilton County, OH. Prostitution is a well-documented problem in the city, and local experts estimate that the vast majority of persons engaged in commercial sex are victims of sex trafficking or are under the control of a sex trafficker/pimp. This activity and its ancillary crimes has resulted in complaints to local law enforcement from residents and businesses. For example, in 2008, local hotels complained to police about an increase in prostitution activity occurring inside hotel rooms. In response, police conducted a sting operation, arresting 13 prostituted women.
In late 2007, guided by business owners’ complaints, the Sharonville Police Department conducted a series of reverse sting operations to crack down on prostitution activity in the city’s hotels. Between July 2007 and August 2008, a total of 16 prostitution-related arrests were made. In an interview for the National Assessment, officers from the neighboring Blue Ash Police Department confirmed that Sharonville has utilized several demand-driven tactics, including street-level reverse stings, web stings, and identity disclosure. As residents of Hamilton County, Sharonville sex buyers may also be subject to auto seizure and/or license suspension, depending upon the circumstances of their arrests.
Sex buyers have also been apprehended as a result of residential reports to police and alternative investigations. For example, in 1987, a prostituted woman and two male sex buyers were arrested for soliciting prostitution after residents complained to police about prostituted women using Citizen Band radios to solicit commercial sex. Sharonville police monitored several interactions between prostituted women and CB male users. As a result of the investigation, a prostituted woman and two male sex buyers were arrested on prostitution charges. Their identities, ages, hometowns, and charges were included in reports by local media outlets.
Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the city. For example, in September 2016, the city of Sharonville asked its fire chief to step down in response to prostitution allegations. The city’s mayor held a news conference at city hall to discuss the fire chief’s involvement in a prostitution investigation by the Reading Police Department. Police said the fire chief admitted to paying a woman $60 for sex through an adult classified ad website in June 2016. A Reading police report said the man was observed leaving an apartment complex that was being monitored because of prostitution complaints. He was put on paid leave, and soon afterward agreed to resign. The sex buyer was not arrested or charged. After his resignation, the man was later re-hired by the city as a consultant to the fire department at minimum wage and without benefits.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.wlwt.com/article/sharonville-fire-chief-agrees-to-resign-amid-prostitution-scandal (2016)
- https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/sharonville/2016/09/13/sharonville-fire-chief-resigns-leaving-yet (2016)
- https://www.fox19.com/story/33086920/sharonville-fire-chief-resigning-after-prostitution-investigation (2016)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- Prostitution charges (1997)
- Five arraigned on charges of health spa prostitution (1987)
- Body rubs lead to arrests (2008)
- Why not go after the johns as well? (2008)
- http://www.fox19.com/story/fox19-investigates-hometown-hookers-in-hotels (2013)
- https://www.fox19.com/story/fbi-aided-local-law-enforcement-in-prostitution-sting (2017)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: