Ohio Man Accused of Trafficking More Than 80 Women in 15 Years


  • Mugshot of Ronald Hellman

Mahoning County investigators believe Ronald Hellman, 50, has been operating a human trafficking ring for the past 15 years and has trafficked at least 80 women.

Hellman is currently being held in jail on a $100,000 bond after being charged Monday with four counts of compelling prostitution involving a minor.

Hellman allegedly brought women and girls to the home of Charles Krusak, 77, and was receiving payments from him. Hellman preyed on drug addicts and sex workers, forcing them into the trafficking ring.

Attorney Jennifer McLaughlin said in an interview to Channel 27, "They've gotten into this life because people have made them dependent on drugs. They're physically abused and they're afraid and so they will do what these men tell them to do."

Once Hellman learned of Krusak's arrest on prostitution and child porn charges two weeks prior, he panicked. According to WFMJ, investigators found VHS tapes in Krusak's home dating back to the early 2000s.

Hellman was picked up on Friday by U.S. Marshals at his house on Youngstown's south side. The Sheriff's Office and the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force are working diligently to identify all of the victims.

Ohio currently ranks as 4th in the country for human trafficking cases, a devastating statistic likely connected to the five major highways that pass through the state.

If you are a victim of this human trafficking ring or a victim in general, please call 330-480-4940 to leave a message with your first name and a return number and the task force will call you back.

For those impacted locally, you can call the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center STAR hotline 24/7 for help at 855-431-STAR.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.