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More Than 100 Arrested In Sex Trafficking Sting, Including Emergency Room Doctor And Church Youth Director
"The reality that they were operating in is that there absolutely was a child at the other end of that device, and that's who they were coming to see,” Franklin County Sheriff's Office Major Steven Tucker said of the arrests.
An online sex sting operation has led to the shocking arrest of more than 100 people in Ohio, including an emergency room doctor and a youth director in training at a Christian church.
Austin Kosier, a 31-year-old doctor and Christian Gibson, a 26-year-old youth director, are among the more notable of the 104 people arrested last week during the sting, WBNS in Columbus reports. Gibson and Kosier have been charged along with 24 other men with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning, local outlet KUTV reports.
Those men allegedly showed up with the intention of having sex with a child, Franklin County Sheriff's Office Maj. Steven Tucker told WBNS. All 24, he said, thought they were talking to a child but were actually communicating online with an undercover officer.
"The reality that they were operating in is that there absolutely was a child at the other end of that device, and that's who they were coming to see,” he said. "They show up with sex toys, they show up with lubrication. They show up with things that clearly somebody isn't going to show up to a house with, unless they intended to engage in sexual activity."
The other arrests include 43 women for allegedly selling sex, 36 men accused of trying to buy sex and one man who allegedly promoted prostitution. The operation focused on Franklin, Fairfield, and Delaware counties and the sting involved more than 30 law enforcement agencies working together.
Kosier was placed on “indefinite administrative leave pending a further understanding of these circumstances," according to a statement from Genesis Healthcare System in Zanesville, where he worked as an emergency room doctor. Gibson has been removed from his position at Redeemer’s at Courtright Church in Columbus. It’s not clear if either man has a lawyer who can speak on their behalf at this time.
“Our hearts are broken for those who experience the devastation and pain from these terrible crimes,” the church said in a statement to WBNS. “Our own Youth Director in training was one of those arrested during this operation. Because we take this issue seriously, we have taken immediate action and have removed this person from his position.”