GALLIA COUNTY — On Wednesday afternoon, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office announced arrests in what it’s calling “Operation Predator” which a news release from the sheriff’s office described as an “effort to eliminate sexual predators from preying on our youth in Gallia County.”
A statement from Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin, read:
“In this technological age every day we are seeing the youth of our county being taken advantage of by individuals more and more through electronic devices and social media. As your Sheriff this scares me, as a parent myself this absolutely terrifies me. Over the past several months, I have guided and directed an investigative team as we have performed online investigations to determine if there is a threat to our youth through online platforms which provide for prostitution or other unlawful sexual acts against our children.”
The news released stated “Operation Predator” was successful in receiving indictments on eight individuals who allegedly agreed to meet and pay for sexual conduct with who the offender reportedly believed was a minor under the age of sixteen.
“Although I am pleased that these individuals were caught, it is also heartbreaking to know that there are individuals out there victimizing our children,” Champlin stated. “I want the citizens of Gallia County to know that my staff and I are committed to working diligently every day to continue to protect you and your family with outside of the box style efforts like this one which are targeted to prevent our youth from being victimized. It is my hope that with this announcement we will bring a heightened level of awareness to the parents and caregivers throughout our county of the real threat that exists in the electronic world we live in today. Please continue to watch our page as, in the near future, we are working on a project to give our families another tool to use to protect their children on their electronic devices.”
Those individuals who have been indicted by a Gallia County Grand Jury are listed below accompanied by the charges which they will face in the Gallia County Court of Common Pleas:
Ryan A. Washburn, age 31, of Guysville, Ohio charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
Rodney L. Weaver Jr., age 41, of Albany, Ohio charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
Christopher A. Jett, age 41, of Parkersburg, W.V., charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
George M. Cremeans, age 41, of Gallipolis, Ohio, charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
Kyle A. Sammons, age 37, of Kitts Hill, Ohio, charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
Jon A. Mattea, age 43, of Cheshire, Ohio, charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
Willard R. Williams III, age 48, of Ray, Ohio, charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
Rodney L. Ault, age 43, of Gnadenhutten, Ohio, charged with (2) counts of Compelling Prostitution and (1) count of Importuning
Sheriff Champlin went on to say “I would like to commend the law enforcement professionals who have worked so hard on this operation. From our detectives and deputies on the street, to our corrections division, to our partners with the United States Marshal Service along with several of our fellow enforcement agencies and Prosecuting Attorney Jason Holdren’s Office, all of these folks have dug their heels in to bring a successful conclusion to this operation.”
Information submitted by the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office.