Rossford, OH

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Rossford is a small city of approximately 6,500 residents, located near Perrysburg and Toledo in Wood County, Ohio. 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 client 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, with an undercover female officer in one room and in the next room, a team of police officers fitted with surveillance, video recorders and mics.  Four arrests were made of male sex buyers.  The men were expected to attend the Luca County John School Program, which began in 2009 and meets in Toledo.

 “John School” – First Offender Prostitution Program – Lucas County 
The goal of the program is to reduce demand for commercialized sex.  There is a fee of $300, and the program incurs no cost to taxpayers.  The men must attend a one-time class and remain free from reoffending for one year in order to receive lesser penalty.  Men who attend are 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

  • Wood County Sheriff’s Office
  • Perrysburg Township Police Department
  • Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
  • Wood County Sheriff’s Office
  • Rossford Police Department
State Ohio
Type City
Population 6293
Location
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