Ohio pastor, woman indicted in sex trafficking of runaway teens

State News

CLEVELAND (WJW) – A Cleveland pastor is facing charges as part of a human trafficking investigation.

Rev. Dr. Randolph Brown, 64, was indicted on two counts of compelling prostitution. Joyce Richmond, 21, of Cuyahoga County, was also indicted on two counts of trafficking in persons and three counts of compelling prostitution in the case.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said Richmond exploited three teen girls who ran away from home. Brown agreed to pay for sex with two of the victims who were 14 and 15 years old at the time of the crimes, according to court documents.

“The allegations in this case are particularly troubling given Mr. Brown’s role as a spiritual leader in the community,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Vance Callander, in a news release on Wednesday. “This investigation should however make clear that traffickers will be held accountable, regardless of the positions they occupy.” 

The Inner-City Missionary Baptist Church, where Randolph is the pastor, said it has no comment.

Anyone who may have been a victim or has additional information on the case should contact the Cuyahoga County Regional Health Trafficking Task Force at 216-443-6085.

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