Business owner's sign calls out prostitution in Price Hill - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Business owner's sign calls out prostitution in Price Hill

(PHOTO: FOX19/ Ben Katko) (PHOTO: FOX19/ Ben Katko)

Prostitution is a citywide problem plaguing the city's streets.

So much so, one local business owner is taking head on with a unique curbside placard saying enough is enough.

Rodney Etter sees a good bit of foot traffic outside his store on St. Lawrence Avenue in East Price Hill. Some of it is good, some of it isn't so welcomed.

"It's hard to see if you just close your eyes to the matter. A lot of people don't care,” said Etter.

Day after day, Etter, better known as “Mr. Ron” to the neighborhood, puts a sign in front of his shop that reads, “Don't Pay. They won't stay. Say no to prostitution.”

"Without that sign, I feel like no one really realizes and they bypass what's really going on up in Price Hill. It's a problem,” said Etter.

He's worked with neighborhood cops, kids and those fresh out of prison. It's safe to say Etter cares about his neighborhood, and would like to see it back on an upswing.

"We need something like this to wake them up. Let somebody in the neighborhood know you care,” said Etter.

The neighborhood is no stranger to sex trafficking. Last year, police busted a suspected multi-state prostitution ring out of a home only a half-mile from where he puts his sign, on a street just across from a Cincinnati Police office. The men accused in the case are Anthony Lee Brown, 48, and Christopher Combs, 25.

Last month another man, Joseph Kennedy, was charged with running a brothel out of his Beech Avenue home that sits just feet from Seton High School.

"District 3 does the best they can, but we can't just depend on District 3. We have to work as a community to solve this problem,” said Etter.

Last year, city leaders installed barricades near downtown to curb prostitution. Councilwoman Yvette Simpson and her office played a big role in the barricades.

“Prostitution and human trafficking remain an issue of focus for Councilmember Simpson's office and the City. We will continue working with and supporting local agencies and partners that provide services and support to the victims of human trafficking, and address the concerns of our most impacted communities,” said a representative of Simpson's office.

“Mr. Ron” wants them gone also to get the help they need.

"They feel like they have no one to turn to,” Etter said.

A representative from Simpson's office also said their office works with State Rep. Denise Driehaus to hold town hall meetings about the issue all over the city. Their next meeting is set for Price Hill, with a date and time to be determined.

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