LIMA — A rural Bluffton couple who police say prostituted a young girl since she was 12 years of age were indicted earlier this month on 15 human trafficking-related counts by an Allen County grand jury.
Susan Walendzik, 42, and Grant Rose, 57, each were indicted on charges on single counts engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, felonies of the first degree; 13 counts of trafficking in persons/commercial sex acts, also first-degree felonies; and one count of promoting prostitution, felonies of the fourth degree.
The indictment alleges that between the dates of July 1, 2018, through Dec. 2, 2020, Walendzik and Rose did knowingly recruit, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, obtain or maintain another person less than 16 years of age “for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity for hire.”
Bond for each of the defendants was set at $500,000
The alleged victim in the case took the witness stand in Lima Municipal Court in December and identified Rose as one of two persons who “made me do things … sexual things.”
The girl, now 18, said it was primarily Walendzik who arranged sexual meetings for her, while Rose would drive her to engage in the sexual acts “in parking lots, parks or at his home.”
The charges against Walendzik and Rose, her live-in boyfriend of several years, stem specifically from alleged trafficking incidents between February and April of 2018, when the victim was less than 16 years of age. Investigators had been keeping an eye on the duo since that time and late last year set up a covert sting operation at a Lima motel.
Through the use of an internet site, investigators set up in the hotel room and waited for the female who was engaging in prostitution to arrive. On Dec. 2 the alleged victim arrived, dropped off at the motel by Rose and Walendzik. Lima Police Detective Steve Stechschulte said that after money was exchanged for the pre-arranged sexual acts, officers arrested Rose and Walendzik in the parking lot of the motel.