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Culture

Law Enforcement Hasn't Let Covid-19 Stop Them From Exposing Sex Trafficking Rings

By Meghan Dillon·· 4 min read
women rescued from sex trafficking

With the COVID-19 crisis, there isn’t a lot of good news in the world. It’s important to find good news wherever we can, and that includes women being freed from the horrible crime of sex trafficking.

After President Trump signed an executive order to help crack down on sex trafficking in January, more incidents of sex trafficking have been exposed. Here are some incidents of sex trafficking that have been exposed, setting women and children free.

Sex Trafficking Ring Exposed in Ohio

Rumors have been spreading that prominent Ohio defense attorney Michael Mearan, 74, has been involved in sex trafficking since 2017. On March 25, dozens of FBI agents and local police officers raided his home (which he used as his office) and discovered a house of horrors. Mearan had trafficked at least 27 women, one found dead and some missing since 2013. Five women reported to be in his ring are still missing. A report claims that “Mearan has for years pressured women into prostitution by telling them he could get lenient sentences from friendly judges.” He has also been accused of giving the women drugs to coerce them.

Mearan had trafficked at least 27 women, one found dead and some missing since 2013.

No charges have been filed and Mearan claims he’s innocent, but the evidence tells another story. Court records say, “Mearan also has been reported as being involved in purchasing drugs, including Oxycodone and heroin, in order to provide them to his prostitutes and clients. Mearan also has been suspected as being in collusion with a Portsmouth, Ohio judge to get females out on bail, parole, etc., in order to use those females as prostitutes and with unknown law enforcement or legislative officials to tip off Mearan’s drug suppliers, including (a then-client of Mearan’s) Mark Eubanks.”

It’s unknown if Mearan will be charged, but the good news is that the majority of the women he allegedly trafficked are now safe.

Military Raid Saves Woman in Honduras

Honduras has had a crime problem for a long time, and sex trafficking local and foreign women is on their long list of common crimes. Luckily, an American woman who had been sex trafficked in Honduras was recently set free in a military raid. In a press conference on March 23, President Trump said, “We were able to get a young woman released from a certain area who was being horribly accosted, horribly treated.” 

An American woman who had been sex trafficked in Honduras was recently set free in a military raid.

The victim is now reunited with her family, but no other details have been given. Our hearts and prayers go out to this woman and her family, as well as every woman who is a victim of sex trafficking around the world. We are all glad this woman is safe and home in the United States, and we hope more women will reach safety as soon as possible.

Child Sex Ring Exposed in Oregon

In January 2020, a task force in Oregon was awarded for their success in exposing the “Mario-Land” child sex ring, saving 746 victims from October 2018-October 2019. In the summer of 2018, child welfare officials had noticed a trend of children being exploited in the area and formed a task force of organizations like the FBI, the local branches of Child Protective Services and Youth Services, and two local police departments to investigate. 

Susan Lopez of Child Protective Services described the severity of the ring. She said, “This is kind of an anomaly. It was definitely the first time that we'd ever heard of anything like this happening in our community.”

This is a stark reminder that human trafficking can happen anywhere and is happening all over the world. Sex traffickers don’t discriminate, and everyone is vulnerable to some degree, making exposing these rings to be a top priority of law enforcement.

Closing Thoughts

Sex trafficking is one of the most common and horrific crimes out there. It doesn’t just happen in foreign countries with a history of human rights abuses, it happens all over the world, and can happen everywhere. These are trying times and these cases are heartbreaking, but it’s important to acknowledge the good news that these women and children are now safe and free. 

Society