More Than 60 Charged In Columbus Prostitution Round-Up - WRBL

More Than 60 Charged In Columbus Prostitution Round-Up

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - More than 60 women and men were arrested or charged in Franklin County this week as part of prostitution round-ups on the west and south sides of Columbus.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the county's drug task force began a new approach to combat prostitution complaints in and around the Franklinton and hilltop areas. As part of the effort, 28 women were arrested on charges of soliciting and/or engaging in prostitution.

In addition, Columbus police conducted a two-day initiative to crack down on prostitution in the Parsons Avenue area that resulted in the arrests of 35 suspected prostitutes and "Johns."

On Tuesday, 18 suspected prostitutes were arrested by Columbus police officers who worked with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. On Wednesday, 17 suspected "Johns" were arrested by Columbus police officers.

The suspects face charges of loitering and/or soliciting.

The way the cases are being handed is very different depending on the law enforcement agency involved.

"Recently at the sheriff's office, we decided to do something different. Something we've never done before," said Franklin County Sheriff's Office Major Steven Tucker.

The sheriff's office offered assistance for the women by reaching out to Amethyst, a local organization dedicated to accepting women into long-term treatment, and Southeast, a Columbus-based provider of behavioral and physical healthcare services.

The sheriff's office's efforts are getting attention from those who have been in the lifestyle before.

"This is somebody's mother. This is somebody's daughter. This is someone who just needs love and some resources to get their life back," Carson said. "I am so elated that the Franklin County Sheriff's Department is willing to look beyond the crime and see the victim. That's what we've been needing for years. If we can change the mindset of, especially the sheriff's department, we can change the mindset of our communities."

"We thought it was important to do something, more than just arrest ourselves out of the problem," Tucker said.

The idea behind stricter laws for prostitution targeting the buyers is basic: stop the demand and the problem goes away.

"Let's get these girls the help they need to end this cycle," said Marlene Carson, of the Destiny Center.

Carson, a former sex trafficking victim, runs several homes in the area to help women in need.

When she learned about the round-ups, she said she immediately wondered about the "Johns."

"Who are the buyers? Who are buying these girls? Who has these girls out on the streets?" she said.

She said Ohio needs to do more to find the offenders and stop them from paying for sex.

"We need some strenuous laws when it comes to ending the demand," Carson said.

For example, in Michigan, when a "John" is arrested, their vehicle is seized. If they're charged, the "John" will also be added to the sex offender registry.

When married "Johns" go to their court-ordered educational program, it's something they're forced to tell their wives.

"If you're legally married, your wife has to consent to you. She's gonna know you're going to John's school. This is not something you're just going to hide," Carson said.

In Ohio, the punishments are more traditional: fines, sometimes jail time, and some are sentenced to attend the "John school" program.

The program is eight hours where the man is educated by former sex trafficking victims, and police officers, and the health department shows graphic images of STDs in a "scared-straight" approach.

Carson said she believes a public shaming approach has more impact.

"Without the demand, we have no problem," she said.

Since 2007 about 250 men have gone through the local program.

The prosecutor who runs the program said the class has been growing over the last two years as they try to crack down on the problem in Columbus.

The following men and women were charged during the round-up conducted by Columbus police:
  • Jimmy J. Hatfield Sr., 75, was charged with soliciting.
  • Troy Eugene Martin, 41, was charged with soliciting. He pleaded guilty to loitering soliciting, and was issued a $250 fine.
  • Gregory Erb, 61, was charged with soliciting.
  • Brandon R. Russell, 32, was charged with soliciting. He pleaded guilty to loitering soliciting, and was issued a $250 fine.
  • Jermaine L. Frazier, 43, was charged with soliciting. He pleaded guilty to loitering soliciting and was issued a $250 fine.
  • Brian D. Jackson, 48, was charged with soliciting. He pleaded guilty, and was issued a $100 fine.
  • Jeffrey D. Helton, 52, was charged with soliciting. He pleaded guilty to loitering soliciting, and was issued a $250 fine.
  • Ronald L. Hall, 67, was charged with soliciting. He pleaded guilty to loitering soliciting, and was issued a $250 fine.
  • Charles D. Carpenter, 51, was charged with soliciting.
  • Dale Motley, 56, was charged with loitering soliciting.
  • Adam J. Hatheway, 37, was charged with loitering soliciting.
  • Michael P. Vanmeter, 60, was charged with soliciting.
  • Kyle Hampp, 43, was charged with loitering soliciting.
  • Quentin Allen Liningham, 51, was charged with soliciting.
  • Tolen L. Flowers, 22, was charged with soliciting.
  • Casey M. Dobbie, 31, was charged with loitering soliciting.
  • Michael L. Charlton, 37, was charged with loitering soliciting.
  • Tresa A. Snow, 43, was charged with soliciting.
  • Amanda Wells was charged with soliciting, and drug possession.
  • Lakisa N. Dukes, 39, was charged with soliciting.
The following women were charged during the sheriff's office round-up:
  • Carmen Cupp, 29, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Wendy Brock, 34, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Pamela Hurst, 33, was charged with soliciting.
  • Stacy Mathias, 36, was charged with soliciting.
  • Rachel Wolfe, 28, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Angela Finley, 42, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Samantha Righter, 28, was charged with soliciting, and paraphernalia.
  • Angela Summer, 22, was charged with soliciting.
  • Kimberly Hyatt, 31, was charged with soliciting, and paraphernalia.
  • Britney Spriggs, 22, was charged with soliciting.
  • Monica Spriggs, 40, was charged with soliciting.
  • Joellen Tschappa, 35, was charged with soliciting, and paraphernalia.
  • Shalena Forsyth, 24, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Kristy Rock, 35, was charged with soliciting.
  • Tanya Spencer, 37, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Samantha Byrd, 19, was charged with soliciting, and paraphernalia.
  • Cindy Paver, 27, was charged with soliciting.
  • Kelly Demaris, 31, was charged with soliciting. 
  • Michael Charlton, 37, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Tonya Courtright, 33, was charged with soliciting.
  • Rebecca Miller, 33, was charged with soliciting.
  • Messina Holcomb, 25, was charged with soliciting, and possession of drugs. 
  • Ashley Sweeney, 27, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Jamie Cavender, 23, was charged with soliciting.
  • Mandie Matthews, 24, was charged with soliciting, and two counts of paraphernalia.
  • Korie Billingsley, 27, was charged with soliciting. 
  • Lindsey Lynn, 36, was charged with soliciting.  
  • Jacklyn Dorris, 30, was charged with soliciting, and paraphernalia.

    NBC4 is working to obtain the names and photos of the additional suspects.

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