Police arrest pastor of Niles church in human trafficking sting
A Youngstown man pleaded not guilty to charges filed after an undercover sex sting that resulted in his arrest in Columbiana County.
Forty-eight-year-old Aaron Newell of Goleta Avenue was arrested Monday along North Sumner Street in East Palestine by members of the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.
According to a complaint filed in court, Newell answered an ad on a website used by escorts offering sex for hire.
Investigators say Newell offered $180 for unprotected sex.
When Newell appeared at the pre-arranged location, investigators say he had $200 and the phone allegedly used to set up the meeting.
Newell is a pastor at Niles Christian Assembly according to the church's website and assistant prosecutor Sean O'Brien.
Newell was charged with engaging in prostitution and possessing criminal tools.
Another court hearing is scheduled for April.