LIMA — A Toledo-area man who police say brought women from Toledo to Lima to engage in prostitution nearly a year ago was sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail and two years on probation.
Eshon Howard, 39, appeared for sentencing in Allen County Common Pleas Court after pleading guilty last month to two fourth-degree felony charges as part of a plea agreement. A third count of promoting prostitution was dismissed by prosecutors, as were firearm specifications attached to each count.
Also included as part of Howard’s sentence was a 90-day stay in the Allen County jail. With credit for 73 days served, the defendant was outwardly shocked at the prospect of immediately serving 17 more days behind bars. He asked Judge Jeffrey Reed for at least one day to get his affairs in order. Reed suggested that Howard “should have thought of that before he brought three young ladies to Lima” to engage in sex for hire.
According to court documents, Howard on Feb. 17 of last year drove three women from Toledo to the Holiday Inn on South Leonard Avenue in Lima and was forcing them to engage in sex for money. Police were alerted and during a consented search of the motel room found evidence, which appeared to confirm the prostitution-related activity.
Howard reportedly admitted driving the women to Lima, renting the motel room, holding the money earned by the women and taking 25 percent of the profits. During Monday’s hearing, Howard told the judge he learned of the acts of prostitution only after they had occurred.
“I find that really hard to believe,” Reed told the Toledo man. “You held the money for the girls? That sounds to me like you were kind of like a pimp.”
Howard was found to be a Tier I sex offender and as such will be required to register with the authorities annually for the next 15 years.