The Cuyahoga County region has experienced a wide range of negative events associated with the local commercial sex market. For example,in March,a Cleveland Heights man appeared in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on involuntary manslaughter, human trafficking, promoting prostitution, trafficking in fentanyl and the club-drug molly and other charges.
The investigation started when an year-old woman who overdosed was dropped off at a local hospital.
Surveillance video picked up the plate of the car that dropped her off, and investigators tracked it to the defendant, and obtained a search warrant for his apartment where they found the drugs producing the overdose. Cleveland Heights police arrested the man on drug trafficking charges and continued their investigation.
Two others involved in the same case were charged with human trafficking and promoting prostitution.
The primary defendant had been released from prison after serving two years in prison on domestic violence and weapons charges, for brandishing a 9mm pistol and threatening to shoot the mother of his day-old. Other examples include a case in December,when police responded to a report that threats had been made against a man who had met a woman on a Chinese social media cell phone app.
Then the man refused, he was threatened on the app and through text messages, with the boss stating he was a member of a violent crime organization and that he would send someone to kill him. In addition to extortion and threats, there have been cases of HIV-positive prostituted persons continuing to sell sex, assaults of both prostituted persons and their clients, human trafficking of adults and children, and homicides that specifically targeted those engaged in prostitution.
For example, inthe FBI announced that convicted murderer Samuel Little confessed to murdering 93 women, and authorities have been able to confirm his connection to 60 of those killings. He was indicted in Hamilton County and Cuyahoga County for the murder of women, many of whom were involved in prostitution.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response. For example, in February,a man was arrested after propositioning his masseuse in Cleveland Heights and, then, lying to police about his name. The massage therapist called the Cleveland Heights Police Department and officers soon found the man at a nearby intersection. Officers arrested him and charged him with soliciting prostitution, and he had two outstanding arrest warrants.
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