Arrested were emergency room doctor Austin Kosier, 31, and 26-year-old Christian Gibson, a youth director in training at Redeemer’s at Courtright Church.
Focusing on three Ohio counties (Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin), the sting netted 24 arrests of men accused of “attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning.” That number includes Kosier and Gibson.
The other arrests include:
- 43 women arrested for selling sex
- 36 men arrested for trying to buy sex
- 1 man arrested for promoting prostitution
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Major Steven Tucker told WBNS that all 24 men showed up with the intention of having sex with a child, saying:
The reality that they were operating in, is that there absolutely was a child at the other end of that device, and that’s who they were coming to see. They show up with sex toys, they show up with lubrication. They show up with things that clearly somebody isn’t going to show up to a house with unless they intended to engage in sexual activity.
The major operation, involving more than 30 law enforcement agencies, focused on human traffickers, internet predators, and those who feed the child sex trade with money.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost told WBNS on Friday:
Criminals involved in trafficking other human beings prey upon those individuals that are already at risk, subjecting them to prostitution and addiction. Predators who seek to harm our children and grandchildren are not hiding in the bushes, they’re lurking on the internet. Please talk to your children. Please know what they’re doing online. Set the rules. Be the parent. Be the parent. Know who they’re talking to. You’re entitled to ask. You’re entitled to know. The children need to know, you can’t trust everybody. Not every adult is trustworthy.
Kosier was placed on “indefinite administrative leave pending a further understanding of these circumstances,” according to a statement from Genesis Healthcare System in Zanesville, Ohio where Kosier was an ER doctor.
Gibson has been removed from his position at Redeemer’s at Courtright Church, which he has been a member of since near birth.
The church released a statement to 10TV WBNS on Friday:
In the past 24 hours we have learned, as you have, of a law enforcement sting conducted on Human trafficking and prostitution. Our hearts are broken for those who experience the devastation and pain from these terrible crimes. Our own Youth Director in training was one of those arrested during this operation. Because we take this issue seriously, we have taken immediate action and have removed this person from his position.