NORTHWOOD STING

Sandusky Twp. trustee cited in prostitution case

How arrest affects duties of elected official is unclear

3/23/2013
BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Sandusky Township trustee was among the six men and six women arrested earlier this week on charges related to soliciting prostitution at a hotel in Northwood.

Trustee Marcus Williams, 40, of Fremont was arrested Tuesday and charged with soliciting prostitution.

According to Northwood police, Mr. Williams contacted undercover officers and attempted to pay one with $140 in cash, an act that was caught on video by the department.

The operation was conducted by the Northwood Police Department, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, and the FBI Human Trafficking Task Force.

Mr. Williams was released after his arrest. He is expected to appear in Northwood Mayor’s Court sometime next week.

Soliciting for prostitution is a third-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction carries a maximum fine of $500 and 60 days in jail. In addition to Mr. Williams’ arrest, five other men and six women were charged with prostitution and drug-related charges the same evening.

It is unclear how Mr. Williams’ arrest will affect his position as a trustee. Fellow Trustee Gilbert Overmyer said Friday that since the charge is a misdemeanor, it will be up to Mr. Williams to determine whether he is able to fulfill his trustee duties.

“That’s entirely up to him,” Mr. Overmyer said. “We’re three trustees and we’re all an equal member there.”

He said if his colleague was arrested for a felony, “then there would be action taken,” although Mr. Overmyer said there is not an official rule regarding the matter in the trustees’ handbook.

Mr. Williams and Trustee Joe Luc did not return calls for comment Friday.

Contact Kelly McLendon at: kmclendon@theblade.com or 419-724-6522 or on Twitter @KMcBlade.