catch court

Reducing Demand For Prostitution

Mar 3, 2020
CATCH Court graduate Melissa Callaway hugs her sister.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

A new push by local and state officials would levy higher fines and possible new charges on those who solicit sex.

Judge Jodi Thomas, right, speaks to participants in a specialized court docket during a weekly meeting.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Columbus City Council on Monday night will vote on investing nearly $500,000 in Franklin County's specialty docket programs.

Donna McMullen holds a photo of her daughter, Jessica, who died in September.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

“That’s my mommy, look!” Three-year old Adalynn McMullen points a little dimpled finger at a collage of photos on a trifold board.

The photos show her mom, Jessica McMullen, over the years – from when she was in diapers to just a few years ago, holding Adalynn on her lap.

CATCH Court graduate Melissa Callaway hugs her sister.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Graduates walked into the atrium of the Ohio Statehouse, greeted by cheers from their friends and loved ones. One by one, they step up to the microphone.

“I spent 37 years of my life a homeless drug addict, a victim of human trafficking on the streets of Columbus,” says Barb Davis. “I truly knew it was my destiny to die out there.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announces the results of a sex trafficking sting on September 13, 2019.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

A three-day, multi-agency, undercover human trafficking sting in Central Ohio has resulted in the arrest of 104 people. This sting is just the latest in statewide efforts to combat human trafficking.

Cleveland Avenue is considered a hot spot for sex work.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Advocates say referrals to a Franklin County specialty docket for people arrested for sex work were down 50 percent in 2018, at least in part because of the suspension and eventual disbandment of the Columbus Division of Police's Vice Unit.

Jenn Glaser lay in bed with a severe pain in her right hip. In the last few days a large abscess had developed under her skin--an infection from injecting drugs.