Man gets 1 year for sex offenses

YOUNGSTOWN — One of the men arrested last fall in a coordinated effort to arrest those attempting to have sex with minors was sentenced Friday to one year in prison.

Jason Walker, 39, East Ninth Street, Salem, appeared at a hearing before Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Anthony Donofrio. Court records show Walker had pleaded guilty Feb. 24 to charges of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, importuning / soliciting an adolescent and resisting arrest. A charge of possessing criminal tools was dismissed.

Walker is one of 14 men arrested in Mahoning County last October as the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force and Sheriff Jerry Greene’s office participated in Operation Autumn Hope.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost called the operation in a news release a statewide effort that involved more than 50 law enforcement agencies and others in an effort to “break the cycle that fuels sex trafficking.”

“This is the fourth time we have done it locally,” Greene said of the crackdown.

In addition to the sheriff’s office, agencies involved locally are the The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Austintown Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Investigative Unit, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Boardman Police Department, Youngstown Police Department, Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office, Ohio Organized Crime Investigative Commission, Mahoning County Adult Parole Authority and the Cortland Police Deparment.

According to a news release, the sting involved undercover officers posing as boys and girls ages 12 to 15. After the suspects arrange to have sex by chatting with whom they believe are children but are actually officers, they drive to meet the “children” for sex. They then are arrested.


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