May 21, 2008

From the Desk of Phil Burress
President of Citizens for Community Values
Citizens’ E-Courier · May 21, 2008

Why Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking remain CCV’s top priorities

Yesterday’s 3-state bust confirms the need.

In our January Citizens’ Courier, we announced that addressing human trafficking in Ohio was at the top of our 2008 legislative priorities.

In the same month, we announced that respected Cincinnati activist and former city councilman Charlie Winburn had joined our staff in a temporary, hands-on consulting capacity to help us address the problem of sexual exploitation in greater Cincinnati and all of Ohio’s major metropolitan markets.

Yesterday afternoon, Wednesday May 20, the importance of our work on these issues was underlined when all major news media broke the story that federal authorities – working with law enforcement agencies in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio – made multiple arrests in connection with a national prostitution ring.

At the top of the story was a Cheviot, Ohio woman, who admitted to undercover agents that she drove 40,000 miles in seven months to deliver Korean women to massage parlors that were fronts for brothels.

Some of those massage parlors were in Northern Kentucky and Dearborn County in southeast Indiana.

If you missed the local news last night, read this morning’s accounts in papers in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Richmond, Indiana.

In Dearborn County alone at least 12 persons were charged with felonies including promoting prostitution, money laundering, theft and conspiracy to commit corrupt business influence related to the alleged prostitution ring.

David Miller, our vice president of public policy has been working closely with key leaders in the Ohio General Assembly on a much-needed, comprehensive sexual trafficking law, which should be introduced soon.

Meanwhile, Charlie has been focusing his efforts on exposing the state’s alternative, give-away newspapers, which routinely publish ads for these bogus spas and other sex-for-sale businesses.

And in this work, yesterday’s televised interview with Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard was telling.  One of his first comments:  “You see the ads for these people in the back of the City Beat.”

Yes, City Beat, one of Cincinnati’s own alternative newspapers.  Pick one up in a local restaurant or retail store and thumb through their classified section.

Pray for the real victims of yesterday’s raid – the ladies trapped and even trafficked in this degrading industry.

And pray for all our staff as we continue to address the sex-for-sale industry throughout Ohio – through legislation, through efforts to partner with those reaching out to those victims, and through efforts to expose the media aiding the sex-for-sale industry.