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Austintown sex-ring case wraps up

Last of five defendants gets 10-year sentence

YOUNGSTOWN — Lori Jackson, 45, of Randolph Street Northwest in Warren, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for human trafficking.

Jackson was the last of five living defendants sentenced in a sex ring that operated out of a home in Austintown for as long as 15 years.

Investigators said scores of females were seen on videotapes confiscated from the home belonging to one of the defendants, Charles D. Krusac, on Lou Ida Boulevard in Austintown.

Krusac, 78, committed suicide shortly after indictments that named him were unsealed in October 2018.

The others indicted were Jackson; Ronald D. Hellman Jr., 52, of Youngstown; Hellman’s mother, Elaine Hellman, 72, of Youngstown, a former Youngstown police dispatcher; and James Jaster, 74, of Boardman.

The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio Attorney General’s Office conducted an investigation starting in July 2018 after receiving a tip that Krusac was creating child pornography involving at least one area juvenile.

Ronald Hellman Jr. received the longest sentence among the defendants — 15 years — for forcing multiple females to engage in sexual conduct with himself, Krusac and others.

Elaine Hellman pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted obstructing justice and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.

Jaster was sentenced to 18 months in prison

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