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Lawyer specializing in prostitution cases busted trying to hire prostitute: state AG

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A criminal defense attorney who specializes in solicitation cases was busted trying to hire a prostitute, the attorney general of Ohio announced. 

“A lawyer should know better – don’t buy sex in Ohio,” Republican Ohio AG Dave Yost said last week in a press release.

Yost said a sting operation carried out by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force late last month led to the discovery of two men allegedly trying to buy sex services, including 72-year-old criminal defense attorney Kenneth Martin. 

The attorney reportedly responded to a prostitution ad posted on a website known for human trafficking and agreed to pay someone he thought was a prostitute $180 for services. Martin traveled to a spot where he had allegedly agreed to meet the prostitute, reportedly with the money in his hand, but was greeted by law enforcement who were posing as sex workers. 

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Martin “lists prostitution and solicitation cases among his legal defense specialties” on his website, according to the Attorney General’s Office. 

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“It’s sometimes the people you’d least expect who drive the demand for human trafficking,” Yost added in his press release last week. 

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Martin was issued a summons to appear in court and charged with engaging in prostitution and possessing criminal tools on Feb. 22, local media reported. 

Another man, identified as 31-year-old Coty Salman of Youngstown, was also charged during the sting operation. Salman also allegedly responded to what he thought was a prostitution ad online, agreeing to pay $140 for sex services. 

a stock photo of a prostitute

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Since taking office in 2019, Yost has made cracking down on human trafficking a top priority, according to his office, launching the Human Trafficking Initiative, which focuses on ending trafficking by arresting traffickers and “johns.”

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“Human trafficking is a multimillion-dollar industry around the world that steals the lives of children, teens and men and women. Traffickers employ force, fraud, manipulation and/or coercion to compel their victims to sell sexual activity or labor, but the traffickers are the ones who make or keep the profit,” the AG’s office states on its website detailing how it’s combating human trafficking. 

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