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Press Release

Cincinnati man arrested, charged with sex trafficking & exploiting teens

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

CINCINNATI – Federal agents arrested a Cincinnati man today on charges alleging he sexually trafficked and exploited two teenage girls.

Kelly Richards, 42, appeared in federal court in Cincinnati at 1:30pm today. His case was unsealed at that time.

Richards is also known as “Scorpio” and has a tattoo of a scorpion on the left side of his face.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, investigators were alerted in March 2023 that two juveniles had been screened as potential sex trafficking victims.

It is alleged that Richards picked up two minor victims who had fled a group home in Dayton and drove them to an apartment complex in Cincinnati. At the apartment, Richards allegedly provided the minors with cocaine before sexually assaulting them.

Richards also allegedly enticed the females into having sex with other men for money that was paid to Richards. It is alleged the defendant created prostitution advertisements online with explicit pictures of the minor victims and used physical violence against them. According to the affidavit, one victim was prostituted up to four times per day in hotels and homes.

Sexually exploiting children is a federal crime punishable by a range of 15 to 30 years in prison. Sex trafficking children carries a potential penalty of at least 10 years and up to life in prison.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and other members of the FBI’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force announced the charges. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle J. Healey is representing the United States in this case.

A criminal complaint merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated May 17, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Human Trafficking