Sex Trafficking

Updated at 5:59 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered that multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein remain confined while he awaits trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman announced his decision that the 66-year-old financier be held without bail on Thursday, following a hearing Monday in which Epstein's lawyer asked that his client be placed on house arrest with round-the-clock private security guards paid for by Epstein.

Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York.
Richard Drew / Associated Press

The Ohio State University announced Tuesday that it launched a review of millions of dollars worth of donations from billionaire Jeff Epstein and his associated organizations.

Operation Home Run and Operation Triple Play took place over four days and led to the arrest of 50 men, most of them local.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says Operation Home Run focused on arresting “johns” who solicit women, not knowing if they are victims of human trafficking.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta defended a 2008 plea agreement he oversaw as a U.S. attorney in Florida in which multimillionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein got a light sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to state charges.

"Facts are important, and facts are being overlooked," Acosta told reporters at a news conference Wednesday.

Porn As A Public Health Crisis

Jul 10, 2019
Soumil Kumar / Pexels

Nineteen Ohio lawmakers want to classify pornography as a public health crisis. They say that the use of porn is tied with sex trafficking and sexual abuse.

This move adds Ohio to the growing list of GOP-controlled states that are pursuing legislation against adult media.

Today on all sides, the meaning of a public health crisis, the health affects of porn, and more. 

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors have charged multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein with sex trafficking of minors and paying victims to recruit other underage girls, accusing Epstein of creating a network that allowed him to sexually abuse dozens of young victims.

Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York announced two counts against Epstein on Monday morning: one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, according to the indictment.

Epstein appeared in court Monday afternoon and pleaded not guilty.

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.

How Is Ohio Changing Its Response To Sexual Violence?

Apr 1, 2019
Forensic analyst India Henry works on evidence in a sexual assault case in the biology lab at the Houston Forensic Science Center Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Houston.
Pat Sullivan / Associated Press

For one Ohio trafficking victim, the opening of the accredited rape crisis center at the YWCA Dayton last year proved crucial to quelling her inner demons, which lingered long after the physical pain subsided. For years, her abuser raped and beat her daily.

The latest human trafficking study is out. It determined the number of victims in Ohio from 2014-2016 who were minors and young adults.

Sex work is illegal in much of the United States, but the debate over whether it should be decriminalized is heating up.

Former California Attorney General and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently came out in favor of decriminalizing it, as long as it's between two consenting adults.

Kansas Jayhawks practice during the opening rounds of March Madness in Des Moines, Iowa, 2016.
Phil Roeder / Wikimedia Commons

By the time thousands of basketball fans get into Dayton for the First Four NCAA basketball tournament this week, illegal sex trafficking encounters will have been set up there for weeks. Savvy traffickers know events that attract lots of people are an easy way to hide their illegal activity.

She Has A Name Cleaning Services

A Columbus company that gives people with criminal records a chance to work now plans to help survivors of sex trafficking. One survivor has worked her way through the company’s ranks and will manage the new cleaning business called She Has A Name Cleaning Services.   

Human trafficking is a term that many of us associate with foreign affairs. Today human trafficking is not only an issue abroad, but one that is becoming more prevalent within the U.S. W-O-S-U's Elizabeth Akinkuolie has the story:

It's taken twenty years of healing, and counseling to be able to talk in public about it.

Social worker, Theresa Flores survived a two year nightmare as a teen when she was a victim of sex trafficking. Even though the crime occurred twenty years ago, she says young women are still very much at risk.