Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

January 31, 2014

Sex trafficking not detected here

Even though Batesville is mentioned in the Cincinnati Backpage Report, an analysis of sex trafficking within Greater Cincinnati, area law enforcement officials say no recent arrests of this type have been made.

The study, released Jan. 11 by the Imagine Foundation, Cleveland (read the entire report at http://imaginefreedom.org), defines sex trafficking as “forced prostitution, domestic minor sex trafficking and/or the commercial sexual exploitation of children.”

Those types of crimes are part of a broader category called human trafficking, which Indiana Code 35-42-3.5 states is “a person who, by force, threat of force, or fraud, knowingly or intentionally recruits, harbors or transports another person to engage the other person in forced labor; involuntary servitude; or to force the other person into marriage, prostitution or participating in sexual conduct.” Under new rules, persons who deal in certain aspects of human trafficking face felony charges between levels 3-5, which means minimum sentences would be between one and three years after July 1, when it takes effect.

The report examines the commercial sex advertisements of Cincinnati.backpage.com “with the assumption that sex trafficking hides within and follows commercial sex markets.” Researchers logged onto the escorts tab of the adult services ads Web site daily from June 1 through Aug. 31, 2013. “We found during this period, 2,965 advertisements for commercial sex within the Greater Cincinnati area, representing a total of 602 distinctive phone numbers and 104 distinct area codes .... We found an inordinate amount of commercial sex advertisements coming out of the following areas: Sharonville, the downtown Cincinnati area, Springdale, Northgate, Norwood, Fairfield, Batesville, Harrison, Covington, Newport and the Western Hills area.”

Of 15 areas listed, two were in Indiana: Batesville/Harrison (Ohio), with 17 ads, and casinos in southeastern Indiana and northern Kentucky, with 20 ads. When Imagine Foundation executive director Jesse Bach was asked how many ads came from Batesville, he answered, “I am unable to differentiate which ads were from Batesville and which were from Harrison as they all listed specifically Batesville/Harrison.”

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