One sex trafficking case ends as another begins


By J Swygart - [email protected]



The trial of Grant Rose, charged with human trafficking and other related felony crimes, began Tuesday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court. Testimony will resume Wednesday morning.

The trial of Grant Rose, charged with human trafficking and other related felony crimes, began Tuesday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court. Testimony will resume Wednesday morning.


J Swygart | The Lima News

LIMA — The victim of a sex trafficking operation took the witness stand Tuesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court as the trial of one of her alleged traffickers got underway.

The girl testified she was just 11 years old when her sexual services were first offered to men, often times drug dealers, in exchange for money and “dope” to allegedly fuel the drug habits of Grant Rose and Susan Walendzik.

Walendzik pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges related to those incidents Tuesday morning, moments before the start of Rose’s trial.

As the state’s first witness in that trial, the girl, now 19, said that while Walendzik arranged most of her “dates,” or paid sexual encounters, it was Rose she testified that “always” drove her to various rendezvous locations.

The alleged victim testified that customers “almost every time gave Grant and Susan money and drugs” in exchange for her sexual encounters. The Lima News does not identify victims of sexual-related crimes.

Special Prosecutor Jennifer Rausch, assistant attorney general for the state of Ohio and legal director for the attorney general’s Human Trafficking Initiative, asked the girl why she failed to reach out to someone for help at the time of the alleged crimes.

“I was scared. I was afraid of (Susan) and Grant,” she replied.

The start or Rose’s trial was delayed for more than an hour Tuesday morning when he attempted to “fire” his court-appointed attorney.

During an impromptu hearing before Judge Jeffrey Reed, Rose said defense attorney Thomas Lucente “is poorly representing me (and) I’d like to fire him.”

After meeting with attorneys behind closed doors, Reed denied Rose’s request for a new lawyer, calling his request little more than a “delay tactic.”

Rausch offered a similar opinion. She also informed the court that Rose had been offered a plea deal, the specifics of which were not announced, last week after learning that Walendzik could testify against him. He rejected that offer and turned down a similar deal Tuesday morning.

Rose, 58, was indicted in January of 2020 on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree; 13 counts of trafficking in persons/commercial sex acts, also all first-degree felonies; and one count of promoting prostitution, a felony of the fourth degree.

The indictment alleges that between July 1, 2018, and Dec. 2, 2020, Rose did knowingly recruit, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, obtain or maintain another person “for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity for hire.”

Walendzik, his life-in girlfriend at the time, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to two counts of trafficking in persons as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She will be sentenced at a later date to a stipulated sentence of 18 years in prison in exchange for the state’s dismissal of 14 remaining charges.

As part of the agreement Walendzik agreed to assist the state in its case against Rose.

The trial of Grant Rose, charged with human trafficking and other related felony crimes, began Tuesday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court. Testimony will resume Wednesday morning.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/02/web1_Grant-Rose-...-2.1.22.jpgThe trial of Grant Rose, charged with human trafficking and other related felony crimes, began Tuesday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court. Testimony will resume Wednesday morning. J Swygart | The Lima News

By J Swygart

[email protected]

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