Scioto County is the perfect hunting ground for child sex predators. Larry Dean Porter of Wheelersburg is accused of trading pills to parents in exchange for sexual access to their young children. The sickening details on the indictments are difficult for even a seasoned journalist to read. One sentence in the press release from the United States Attorney David Mr. DeVillers stood out to me immediately.
“It is alleged he often instructed the parents to sexually abuse their own children and recorded it to use as blackmail.”
That sentence stood out because I’ve discussed how human traffickers groom individuals 20 times in the past six months with human trafficking expert Rhiannon Gill. It is a topic that comes up again and again and again when discussing sex predators and traffickers. How do these monsters get parents to cooperate?
When you think of child sex trafficking, you probably think of twisted individuals with a compulsion to molest kids. But in many, cases, the pedophiles are actually the customers for traffickers. While some child traffickers are pedophiles who take it up to supply their own urges, for others it’s just a profitable business.
Like drug dealers, they count on desperate clients who will pay a lot of money for their illegal fix and are in no position to talk about their dealing with you.
A Profitable Business
Sex trafficking, especially trafficking children is a big business. Some estimates put profits in the billions. An exact number is hard to come up with. It’s not like sex traffickers file tax returns to report their profits. In addition to selling children for sex, traffickers can earn big money with child pornography.
Officials said Larry Dean Porter kept child pornography on a memory card buried in a jar in his yard. Pedophiles lose interest in children as they start to grow. Child pornography is distributed for decades after it is produced. It is also potent blackmail material to keep both the children and their parents under the thumb of the trafficker.
Target the Vulnerable
Rhiannon Gill tells me that traffickers target the most vulnerable people they can find. “People who are living in poverty and have addictions are easily groomed for trafficking. Many of those who are groomed have experienced some type of trauma in their lifetimes such as domestic violence, prior sexual abuse, and unstable living situations. This describes a large population of rural Ohio. Their vulnerability makes them easy prey because they may perform sex acts to provide food for their families or drugs for their addictions.”
Joshua David Aldridge, 36, of South Webster, Charity Ann Rawlins, 41, of South Webster, Ohio, and Ronnie L. Rawlins, 47, of Oak Hill, Ohio, and several other women were charged with transporting children to Porter’s home to be sexually abused in exchange for pills.
Convincing the adults to make videos of themselves abusing the children allegedly gave Porter a useful insurance policy to prevent them from talking. Such videos are also used to keep children quiet as they get older and sometimes to draw them into the human trafficking business as they grow too old to interest pedophiles.
In It For The Long Haul
Traffickers like Porter don’t mind spending years grooming individuals to take part in their operation. Rhinanon Gill said, “Sex traffickers are in it for the long haul. Traffickers generally involve people they believe they can trust. They choose people who won’t say anything about the business of trafficking to assist them with the operation. Traffickers groom these individuals for the operation. Then use it against them to prevent them from leaving the operation and conduct business on the trafficker’s behalf. Many times, the grooming process is very lengthy.”
You can read the full 17-page indictment and the 23-page official complaint on our SCDN VIP page.
If a predator targets you, your child, or someone you know, immediately notify local law enforcement.
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