VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Two Northeast Ohio men are among hundreds of people charged in a massive human trafficking sting operation in Florida.
Vero Beach police say they have charged nearly 200 people on more than two hundred counts of solicitation. The arrests including Peter Sedlak of Solon, president of Gigi’s Playhouse in Lakewood; and Walter Dimling, a retired dentist, of Mayfield Village. They are charged with solicitation of prostitution.
Gigi's Playhouse told FOX 8 News in a statement: "We are aware of media reports regarding Mr. Sedlak’s arrest. The incident described has no connection to the Playhouse and if true is completely inconsistent with our values. We have also received a letter from Mr. Sedlak resigning from the Board of GiGi’s Playhouse. We will have no further comment as the authorities conduct their investigation."
According to a news release, investigators say the arrests come at the end of a six-month investigation, involving multiple Florida police jurisdictions including the Vero Beach police, Sebastian police and the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.
Vero Beach police say the investigation started in August 2018 after they received anonymous complaints about two spas. They conducted two undercover operations where they say employees of the parlors offered to perform sex acts on the undercover officers in exchange for money.
The operation is part of a widespread crackdown on sex trafficking across Florida.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was also charged this week in a similar sting in Jupiter, Florida.