COLUMBUS -- Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and the Columbus Police Department on Thursday announced the indictment of a registered sex offender on 12 felony counts, including trafficking in persons and prostitution charges.
A Franklin County grand jury returned a 12–count indictment against Jason Javon Johnson on Wednesday. Johnson, already registered as a Tier I sex offender, is charged with:
-- One count of Trafficking in Person.
-- Three counts of Compelling Prostitution.
-- Five counts of Promoting Prostitution.
-- Two counts of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
-- One count of Receiving Stolen Property.
“Already a sex offender, this guy now faces additional charges for acts of evil against vulnerable, young females,” Yost said. “I commend the task force for its diligence and our partners who will ensure his time behind bars is extended.”
O'Brien said, "This is another example of the great work of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force."
Columbus acting police Chief Michael Woods said federal, state and local officials are partnering in these kinds of cases.
“Suspects who engage in this type of criminal activity can expect the Task Force to aggressively investigate the crime and bring charges especially when the victims are minors," Woods said.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office Organized Crime Investigations Commission’s (OOCIC) Human Trafficking Task Force initiated an investigation into Johnson’s activities in 2014 after receiving a tip from a Columbus Police patrol officer.
Since that time, investigators with the task force learned Johnson used social networking sites to meet, recruit and lure in vulnerable young females. Two of Johnson’s five victims have been identified as juveniles.
Johnson exploited his victims by posting ads on escort websites to attract customers for paid sexual services.
Johnson then used threats, intimidation, physical violence and blackmail tactics to coerce and control his victims into working for him through prostitution. Johnson utilized multiple hotels and apartments in the Central Ohio area to carry out his sex trafficking operation, authorities said.
The case is being prosecuted by O’Brien's office. Indictments merely contain allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. Johnson is currently incarcerated at the Franklin County Jail on an unrelated offense.
The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is a law enforcement collaboration through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission and includes the following agencies: the Columbus Division of Police, the Ohio Investigative Unit, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Powell Police Dept., U.S. Homeland Security Investigations [ICE], The Salvation Army, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s Office, Delaware County Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel’s Office and the U.S Attorney’s Office Southern District of Ohio.