Law enforcement in the Mahoning County and Columbiana County areas have recently been using the website “Skip the Games” to run local prostitution stings. Skip the Games is a website that acts as a marketplace for transactions that involve sex. Users create ads as an escort, posing as an escort, or as someone looking for an escort.
How Prostitution Stings Work using Skip the Games
During these stings, undercover detectives post an advertisement on the website posing to be an individual looking for sex, even sometimes posing as a juvenile. These detectives will create conversations with the people who respond and give details like rates and meet-up locations. The people who show up at these meet-up locations will then be met with police officers, arrested, and typically charged with Engaging in Prostitution, along with any other relevant charges. One other relevant charge that is often seen in these cases is Possession of Criminal Tools, which is brought on by being in possession of the phone used to communicate with the alleged escorts, condoms, or cash in the amount of the communicated rate on your person.
Penalties Associated with Engaging in Prostitution
Engaging in Prostitution is typically a misdemeanor of the first degree in Ohio and can be punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and a $1,000 fine.
If these charges involve engaging with a juvenile, you could be charged with a felony. Potential charges can include Compelling Prostitution and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor. The more serious of these two charges can include a punishment of up to 5 years in prison, mandatory sex offender registration, and fines up to $10,000 or more.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
When facing charges like engaging in prostitution, contacting the attorneys at Hartwig Law LLC immediately is key. We can help you with every step of the way including the process of navigating your charges, work to reduce penalties, and more.