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Press Release

Ohio Man Indicted for Alleged Child Sex Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Euclid, Ohio, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for sex trafficking of a child, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

The one-count Indictment named Donte Lashawn Cole, 39, as the sole defendant. According to allegations contained in a previously filed federal criminal complaint, in May 2023 Cole transported a minor female victim from Ohio to a hotel in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, to engage in commercial sex acts. Cole allegedly used online advertisements to market the minor for commercial sex services in Western Pennsylvania and elsewhere, from April 2023 to October of 2023. With the assistance of the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Taskforce, Cole was taken into custody at his residence in Euclid, Ohio, where the minor was also located partially nude in an upstairs bedroom.

“This defendant allegedly offered for sale the sexual exploitation of a child—an egregious violation of the innocent,” said U.S. Attorney Olshan. “Along with our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, we will continue our work to identify, investigate, and bring to justice those who pursue profit through sex trafficking of minors. We implore anyone who knows or suspects that a minor may be the victim of sex trafficking to contact law enforcement.”

“Without collaboration between law enforcement, human traffickers are able to move from city to city and state to state in the shadows, while profiting from traumatic acts their victims feel obligated to perform,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry said. “Our charges, and the ensuing federal indictment, bring this egregious conduct to light and seek to end a reign of predatory behavior.”

The federal charge provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Rob Schupansky and Special Assistant United States Attorney Summer Carroll are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Attorney General’s Office of Pennsylvania conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

If you are the victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please call the FBI, local law enforcement, or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888. NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year related to potential trafficking victims, suspicious behaviors, and/or locations where trafficking is suspected to occur. To submit a tip to the NHTRC online please visit

An indictment and a criminal complaint are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated December 16, 2023

Project Safe Childhood