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Authorities arrest more than 100 people — including church official, ER doctor — in massive child sex trafficking sting


Disturbing to say the least

Image source: WBNS-TV video screenshot

Authorities arrested more than 100 people in a massive child sex trafficking sting in central Ohio, according to WBNS-TV.

Twenty-four male suspects, ranging in age from 20 to 59, were accused of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning. Authorities arrested 43 women for selling sex, 36 men for trying to buy sex, and one man for promoting prostitution, the station reported.

An emergency room doctor and a church youth director were among those suspects arrested in the three-county Ohio sting.

What are the details?

The 24 male suspects reportedly had intentions to meet a child for sex, WBNS-TV reported.

Maj. Steven Tucker with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office said, "We make sure there is no mistake about that."

Tucker, who oversaw the sting, said the encounters would begin with online chats between men and those whom the suspects believed were children. The children in this case were actually law enforcement officers posing as underage boys and girls.

"The reality that they were operating in is that there absolutely was a child at the other end of that device, and that's who they were coming to see," Tucker said, and pointed out that all 24 male suspects made strides to physically meet their would-be victims.

"They show up with sex toys, they show up with lubrication," he revealed. "They show up with things that clearly somebody isn't going to show up to a house with, unless they intended to engage in sexual activity."

According to WBNS, the investigation was "focused not just on internet predators, but human traffickers and the men who feed the sex trade with their dollars."

What about the children?

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said that there are real dangers on the internet for children.

"Criminals involved in trafficking other human beings prey upon those individuals that are already at risk, subjecting them to prostitution and addiction," Yost said. "Predators who seek to harm our children and grandchildren are not hiding in the bushes, they're lurking on the internet."

Tucker warned parents to reach out to their children to discuss their online behaviors.

"Please talk to your children," Tucker warned. "Please know what they're doing online. Set the rules. Be the parent. Be the parent. Know who they're talking to. You're entitled to ask. You're entitled to know. The children need to know, you can't trust everybody. Not every adult is trustworthy."

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