This year continues to be the year of headlines I never thought I’d have to ponder, much less write. But the ugliness continues.
This edition features long-time MLB umpire Brian O’Nora reportedly arrested in a Youngstown, Ohio sex trafficking sting operation over the weekend, together with 13 other individuals who’d sought to buy sex via the internet and arrange a meeting. From the Ohio Attorney General’s office, via Yahoo:
Fourteen men were arrested during a single-day human trafficking operation that targeted individuals seeking to buy sex via the internet, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Liberty Township Police Chief Toby Meloro announced today. The operation, which took place on Sunday, was conducted by the Liberty Township Police Department in cooperation with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force, a task force under the attorney general’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission.” John stings deter those seeking to purchase sex – reducing the demand for human trafficking – and serve as a reminder that these crimes are more prevalent and closer to home than you may think,” Yost said. “Hats off to Chief Meloro and the Liberty Township Police Department on their successful operation.”
O’Nora, an MLB umpire for 21 years, was identified by NJ.com and USA Today as one of those arrested. It’s too early to say whether there will be discipline coming from MLB, or whether O’Nora’s job is in danger.
As the AG notes, the relationship between prostitution and human trafficking is significant, which means the demand for certain kinds of sex services raises the risk of human trafficking. These are actually really complex issues that go way beyond the scope of a baseball blog, but when it intersects with our baseball world, I think it’s important to note the seriousness of the issue.