Authorities: South Side man part of human-trafficking investigation

YOUNGSTOWN — Authorities say a man in the Mahoning County jail on four counts of compelling prostitution is part of a human-trafficking investigation that so far has at least 80 victims.

Maj. Jeff Allen of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office said Ronald Hellman, 50, of Irma Avenue, was part of a group of people who preyed on young women and juveniles, especially people who had drug problems.

The victims would be taken to his house, where they were filmed performing acts of pornography, Allen said.

Hellman was arraigned Monday in Mahoning County Area Court in Austintown on four counts of compelling prostitution. Judge David D'Apolito set Hellman's bond at $100,000.

Allen said an investigation is ongoing, and he expects more people to be charged.

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