Attorney General Dave Yost along with law enforcement partners announced Friday that two individuals behind a human sex-trafficking ring in central Ohio were convicted and sentenced.
The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force charged Curtis Gossett and Jeffrey Bagley in the bust. The two men led an operation that involved recruiting women from the streets and jails, and drugging them with narcotics to maintain control over them. They trafficked dozens of women for commercial sex in Columbus, according to a press release from Yost’s office.
“Women who are sold in the sex trade often think no one will believe them. These convictions are proof positive that there is justice,” Attorney General Yost said. “Our work here is not done.”
Gossett received a 13 year sentence while Bagley was handed down a sentence of 10 years. Both will be required to register as sex offenders upon release.
“I am very proud of the efforts of the Human Trafficking Task Force,” Columbus Police Deputy Chief Deputy Tim Becker said. “The outcome of this investigation demonstrates the commitment of the Columbus Division of Police to actively support the eradication of trafficking humans in our community and CPD will collaborate with our partners to prosecute offenders to the highest degree.”
Yost’s office said the investigation began in March 2016 after a female victim approached the Columbus Police Headquarters. She informed officers that she was a heroin addict and had been working as a prostitute.
“The buyers of commercial sex are often sanctioning and committing rape; the victims of sex trafficking are not willing participants,” said Sergeant Mark Rapp, director of the Central Ohio Human Sex Trafficking Task Force. “The victims are compelled through manipulation to engage in sex acts they may not otherwise participate in.”
Yost promoted the bust on Twitter Saturday morning:
#ICYMI: Two men who ran a human trafficking ring in central Ohio have been sentenced to prison following an investigation by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force. More info here: https://t.co/xn5t8vXOht pic.twitter.com/Jk7EYsAdZ4
— Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (@OhioAG) April 20, 2019
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