Columbus School Teacher Arrested for Alleged Sex-Trafficking Bust

 

A school teacher from Columbus has been arrested for allegedly paying to have sex with a teen whom police suspect was a victim of human trafficking.

“Robert Pea, 60, of Columbus, was arrested Wednesday morning and is charged with one count of compelling prostitution,” according to reports. “The Northland High School teacher is accused of contacting a 16-year-old girl through an online advertisement to have sex at a hotel in Reynoldsburg.”

Arrest documents show that Pea is accused of offering the teen girl $80 for sex. Compelling prostitution is a third-degree felony in Ohio.

Pea, who taught social studies and bowling, was arrested at the high school where he was employed. He was also the boys golf coach at the school.

Police said there were no students on the premises during the arrest because Wednesday was a teacher work day, and that Pea was taken into custody peacefully.

Currently, Pea is on unpaid leave from the school, but if he is released from jail, he will get paid during his absence.

Attorney General Dave Yost (R) said the bust is part of an ongoing human trafficking investigation.

Sgt. Dana Hess is the director of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, and said that the investigation began in August after police were tipped off that the 16-year-old girl might be a victim of sex trafficking.

“We started investigating the primary targets for this case and during the course of our investigation, we uncovered the teacher who was a sex buyer, who was paying for sex with the victim,” Hess said, referring to Pea.

Hess says the girl is now safe.

“She attends a private school, she is currently in the custody of her mother, and she is undergoing counseling, so she is safe.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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