Buying sex in Dayton: Prostitution-related offenses on rise

Dayton police arrested nearly twice as many men for prostitution-related offenses last year as they did in 2016, and officers remain aggressive in their enforcement of vice laws, police data show.

More men have been arrested by Dayton police for prostitution-related offenses already this year than in all of 2016, and there’s still six months left to go.

Men feed the demand for commercial sex, and men of just about every age, ethnicity, race and walk of life have been busted in Dayton either paying prostitutes for sex or trying to do so, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of police reports and municipal court records.

The Dayton Daily News took a closer look at about 200 cases to try to learn more about the local Johns who purchase sex acts. Among the noteworthy findings was that a significant number of commercial sex customers are senior citizens, often meaning they are decades older than the sex workers they solicit.

RELATED:Dear Johns: Dayton police warn suspected prostitution customers

Dayton police arrested 150 men for prostitution-related crimes in 2017, which was up from 83 the prior year. There’s already been 86 arrests this year.

In the nearly 200 cases reviewed by this newspaper, the men who were arrested on suspicion of trying to buy sex ranged in age from 18 to 83.

The median age of the suspects was 46 years old. The average age was about 45.1.

Prostitution, “the world’s oldest profession,” has a significant share of older customers: About one in five of the suspected Johns were 60 and older.

Several men died not long after being arrested for prostitution offenses.

This includes a 67-year-old man who Dayton police last year arrested for prostitution crimes. The man, who was convicted of loitering, died of natural causes about 10 months later in hospice care.

A Dayton man, in his late 60s, also died of natural causes at home hospice about 11 months after being busted for picking up a prostitute.

Men who live in Dayton account for the largest share of the commercial sex market. They represent about half of the Johns busted by police.

But many others live in Beavercreek, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Kettering, Middletown, Miamisburg, Tipp City, Troy and Xenia.

Some Johns hail from out of state, including Indiana, Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. Some come from other parts of Ohio.

RELATED: 8 arrested in Dayton on solicitation charges

Some Johns are drug users, registered sex offenders and convicted felons.

But many others are employed and have no previous arrests or only minor arrest records in municipal court.

This newspaper identified a John who worked as bus drivers for a local transportation agency and another who worked in a non-teaching position for a local school district.

Dayton police have arrested a local pastor, small business owners and management-level employees from local companies for prostitution-related offenses.

Most men arrested on suspicion of prostitution-crimes are convicted in Dayton municipal court on charges of loitering, soliciting, loitering for prostitution or other misdemeanor offenses.

First-time offenders most commonly are given probation, tested for HIV and are ordered to attend Johns school, a program where they learn about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, health education, the negative community impact of commercial sex activities, the legal consequences of solicitation and human trafficking.

RELATED: Looking to buy sex? Welcome to John School in Dayton


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