Investigations by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force resulted in the arrest of a former correctional officer for allegedly seeking sex with a juvenile. 

On January 24, the task force arrested Richard E. Kozak, 31, of Youngstown, after an investigation revealed evidence of online crimes against children. Kozak allegedly was participating in sexually explicit conversations with a 15-year-old. 

Kozak was at the time employed as a correctional officer at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, and had engaged in conversations during work hours. 

CoreCivic, the company that operates the facility, cooperated with the investigation.

Kozak was charged with compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony; importuning, a fifth-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.

The investigation also led to the arrest of John Slates, 75, of Richmond for allegedly attempted to engage in sex with individuals he believed to be a 15-year-old female and her adult mother. 

Slates was charged with compelling prostitution, a first-degree felony; attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony; importuning, a fifth-degree felony; possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony; and engaging in prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor.