Grand jury indicts Fort Mitchell father, son on human trafficking charges

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. -- A father and son from Fort Mitchell have been indicted on federal human trafficking charges.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Wednesday a grand jury indicted 46-year-old Keith Arrick Sr. and 21-year-old Keith Arrick Jr. this week.

The men are accused of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

Arrick Sr. also faces two counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits interstate transportation for prostitution. 

The arrests came after an investigation by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.

DeWine said the investigation determined the men forced a juvenile and multiple women, including one from Covington, to engage in commercial sex acts between Sept. 2013 and Feb. 2014.

Investigators said the men used various hotels in the Columbus area to harbor women and recruited customers via the website Backpage.com.

Researchers found thousands of Cincinnati-area sex ads on Backpage.com, calling it an online catalog of sex workers.

"One of the biggest things in Cincinnati is that most everybody would think this occurs in the inner city, in the seedy area,” said Jesse Bach of the women's support organization Imagine Foundation. “But we found it was in the fairly affluent suburbs too."

Arrick Sr. is accused of using physical violence and threatening women who indicated they wanted to stop performing sex acts.

“They were held against their will and were fearful for their lives," DeWine said.

Officials said the indictments were made possible by a multi-agency investigation and highlighted the threat of human trafficking in Ohio.

Arrick Jr. was arrested in Columbus Tuesday and is being held in the Franklin County Jail.

Arrick Sr. is in custody on unrelated charges in Kenton County.

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