SEYMOUR – Eight men from Indiana, including one from Bedford, and three from other states have been arrested for solicitation of teenage girls to have sex for money, according to Jackson County Sheriff Rick Meyer.
Police arrested the following:
The anti-human trafficking and anti-pedophile sting operation – Operation March Sadness – was conducted between Tuesday, March 9, and Thursday. March 11 by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at two locations in Seymour, according to a news release from Jackson County Sheriff Rick Meyer.
The operation was supported by Covenant Rescue Group, a nonprofit organization. Covenant supports law enforcement through training and operations, said Sheriff Meyer.
On the first day of the operation, members of the sheriff’s department, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, and Covenant communicated online with individuals using sex trafficking and prostitution websites. Officials with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office were also present during the operation.
Officers used decoy profiles of females age 15 to 19 and all eight came to the operation site in hopes to meet the girl they had been chatting with. Each was arrested.
Throughout the operation, Sheriff Meyer says 7,000 messages were sent and received, between the decoys and the men.
“Each of the men had intentions of having sex for money with girls between the ages of 15 and 19,” Sheriff Meyer added.
Roesser and Newton were arrested after they came to the operation to pay for sex with a female older than 15.
Roesser promised to pay a decoy with drugs or money and was carrying meth and ecstasy with him at the time of his arrest.
Sheriff Meyer said two other people, who have yet to be arrested, attempted to lure the girls (decoys) to Louisville and Indianapolis during the operation.
According to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, one in 25 children ages 10 to 17 has received an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor has tried to make offline contact. For every sexual predator arrested, 25 lives will be saved from being negatively impacted.
The FBI also reports 65 percent of online sex offenders use the victim’s social networking site to gain home and school information about the victim. To gain information about the victim’s whereabouts at the time, 26 percent of online sex offenders used the victim’s social networking site.