Eight snared in prostitution sex sting

Locals lured into hotel get slapped with criminal charges
Jessica Cuffman
Mar 28, 2013

Undercover deputies slapped eight people with criminal charges Tuesday after staging a sex sting. 

Three of those charged are from Sandusky, while one is from Huron and one is a Norwalk resident.  

“We set it up online as a prostitution sting, for lack of a better term,” Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick said.

“People made contact with agents and arrangements were made, and we arrested them when they made a proposition.”

The deputies — both men and women —posed undercover to bait prostitutes, pimps and Johns who responded to an online ad. Working with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, deputies charged eight people by day’s end. 

They lured them to a Portage Township hotel. 

All told, six people were charged with solicitation, one was charged with complicity to prostitution and one was charged with attempted solicitation.

The crimes are all misdemeanors.

Those charged with solicitation:

•  Thomas Erne, 63, Huron. 
•  Richard Stratton, 66, Norwalk.
•  Barry Lee, 61, Sandusky.
•  George Johnson, 55, Sandusky.
• Amanda Bigelow-Hogan, 26, Toledo.
• Jason Palmer, 40, Elmore.

Others charged:

• Daniel Weiss, 38, Flat Rock, Mich., complicity to prostitution. 
• Mark Day, 42, Sandusky, attempted soliciting.

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Did she take his AARP card?


Boo-Hiss! Sheriff Steve's got nothing better to do?


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Off-topic comments.


but 2 year old boys aren't tricks..........yet.


All of you are fools. Most of the people in these stings have a terrible cycle of drugs and other illegal acts. Good for the S.O., keep it up.


So what if they do. Prostitution is a victimless crime! Do you really think this is a good use of time and money?


(victimless crime)

Not always deer! Pimps and rip off customers can cause issues, then there are crimes commited. Remember the place on RT 250? Even the cops went there.I say legalize it as well.


Who calls the cops on a pro? Pimps are a thing of the past. Women wised up!


Question deertracker: Have you ever researched this issue? Or are you speaking from unsupported opinion?

John Harville

Then go after drugs.

Note: You seem to be an artist at generalizations - branding their 'terrible cycle'. Does story say who was 'buying' and who was 'selling'?

Colonel Angus

Getting paid to have sex is only illegal if you aren't a superintendent or principal I guess. Good to know.


Charge the cops for impersonating a pimp.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


66 year old bazoombaz can't be attractive either.


Dust it off and polish it a little. :) I'm sure it would shine up again.


LOL..don't bother the 66 year old woman with dusting and shining(unless of course you're talking about household chores)
Just pay some young drug addict for sexual pleasure....and pray to not get Hepatitis ...

Julie R.

"Charge the cops for impersonating a pimp."

That was tooooo funny.


The old guy is H.R @ factory in bellevue



bored reader

Yes, was!!!


What motel in Portage twp is open in the winter? I also agree legalize it & tax the crap out of it.


DECIDERS have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

oh gee. I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. :)


Amanda Bigelow female gigolo... hahahahahaha


You mean gigoho? Lol


Okay, so prostitution is okay? What about human sex trafficing? What is wrong with people thinking its okay for a "pimp" to sell a persons body to men? Here is the thing, one person of that group is a Bowling Green State University instructor. Barry Lee is no longer a creadable source. How could students ever want to have a reccomendation from him? He is no longer a credible reference or role model. Students, especially girls, are going to feel uncomfortable if the university decides to keep this instructor. What kind of image is BGSU going to leave? I know as a student, I will not be attending this university if it is decided to keep him as an instructor.


You must be a RepubliCON!

BW1's picture

No at will transaction between adults is any of the government's business.
PERIOD. Stop trying to force YOUR morality on others.


These stings are not considered entrapment because the the customer(john)actually has to initiate a money transfer or at least agree verbally to trade money for sex. I would imagine wording the advertisement a certain way would completely prevent defendants from claiming entrapment, especially once a verbal agreement has been made.

The thing about online prostitution is prostitutes usually don't post an advertisement that says "call me at 555-555-5555 to exchange sex for money". Prostitutes have to play word games in an attempt to avoid prosecution. These same word games are what allow police to post the same vague ads, get responders and avoid a possible entrapment plea.



"Entrapment occurs when police officers and/or confidential informants give the alleged offender an opportunity to commit criminal conduct. The key to the entrapment defense is that the alleged offender would not have been predisposed to commit the crime without outside influence, incentive and/or inducement initiated by law enforcement. According to the Ohio Supreme Court, entrapment occurs “where the criminal design originates with [government official(s) who] implant in the mind of an innocent person the [pre]disposition to commit the alleged offense and induce its commission in order to prosecute.” State v. Doran, 5 Ohio St.3d 187."


Thanks for the clarification. Upon review of the law it is still my opinion wording the advertisement in a certain way would eliminate a entrapment defense. For example... I don't think someone can claim entrapment if they replied to a post(possibly made by the police) about meeting new friends then arrived and offered payment for sexual favors.

Example of how they could do it... Hi my name is Jessica. I am 22 have a nice body, staying in a hotel, only here for the weekend, looking for new friends. Call me at 419-555-5555. If 419-555-5555 were a real number it would have just gotten 50+ phone calls from local single men all foaming at the mouth.