Upper Arlington, 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

Upper Arlington is a city of about 36,000 residents in Franklin County, Ohio, located on the northwest side of the Columbus metropolitan area. Prostitution is a well-documented problem in the city. For example, in October 2013, an Upper Arlington woman was arrested and charged with prostitution after allegedly inviting men to have paid sex at her apartment. According to police, she advertised her services on a website and respondents were invited to her residence, where the illegal activity occurred. Police served a search warrant at her home and evidence supporting the illegal prostitution was seized. Problems associated with the local commercial sex market include the apparent homicide of prostituted women. For example, in October 2018, Upper Arlington police announced the identity of the woman whose body was found burning in Burbank Park, and revealed that she had lived on the streets of Columbus and had been charged for soliciting prostitution three times in the past year. The Columbus Dispatch reported that in all three cases, she was working the Sullivant Avenue corridor in Hilltop and offered intercourse to undercover Columbus police vice unit detectives.

Local efforts to address such problems include those targeting consumer-level demand for prostitution. For example, in October 2021, Attorney General Dave Yost announced that a statewide human trafficking sting was a success and produced over 161 arrests of people seeking to buy sex. The Upper Arlington Police Department participated in “Operation Ohio Knows,” coordinated through the AG Office’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC). The operation was a collaborative effort that took place from September 24 to October 1 to address the demand that fuels sex trafficking in Ohio. Most arrestees were charged with engaging in prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor. A change in state law passed in the spring required those convicted to undergo human trafficking education, a provision promoted by Attorney General Yost to decrease the demand for prostitution.

In April 2018, an Upper Arlington police lieutenant resigned in response to his previous arrest for allegedly soliciting a prostituted woman through an online ad. According to a news release from the Upper Arlington Police Department, the officer submitted his resignation from the force after Columbus Police said he offered an undercover police officer $40 for sex at a hotel on Olentangy River Road near OSU’s campus in January 2018. The meeting was set up through an ad on Backpage.com by the Columbus Vice Squad. After the arrest, Upper Arlington’s police chief was notified and the officer was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation by the department into the solicitation charges filed against him in January. The man later pleaded guilty to an amended charge of loitering, which was submitted before the completion of the internal investigation. The man had led the patrol division and supervised 32 of the department’s 50 officers. His resignation was effective in April 2018.

Key Partners

  • Upper Arlington Police Department
  • Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission

Key Sources

Loss of Employment, Identity Disclosure of Arrested Sex Buyers:

Reverse Stings:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Local Prostitution Ordinances:

State Ohio
Type City
Population 36295
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