Longtime MLB ump Brian O’Nora busted in sex sting at Ohio hotel
A veteran Major League Baseball umpire was busted in a human trafficking sting in Ohio, authorities said.
Brian O’Nora — a married ump who joined the league in 1999 — was one of 14 men arrested Sunday in a human trafficking operation targeting people looking to pay for sex on the internet, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday.
O’Nora, 57, of Youngstown, and 13 other men are facing charges of soliciting, a third-degree misdemeanor, and possessing criminal tools, a first-degree misdemeanor, Yost said.
“John stings deter those seeking to purchase sex – reducing the demand for human trafficking – and serve as a reminder that these crimes are more prevalent and closer to home than you may think,” Yost said in a statement.
The single-day sting was conducted by Liberty Township police with assistance from the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.
“The operation was in response to the increased amount of sex trafficking in the region and served as a warning to the men who are funding these criminal enterprises that prey on the trafficking victims, many of [whom] are children,” task force officials said in a statement.
O’Nora and the other suspects were arrested after arriving at an “area hotel to pay for sex,” officials said.
O’Nora was later identified as an MLB umpire during an interview with investigators, a spokesman for Yost’s office told The Post. He opted out of the 2020 season over coronavirus concerns.
A message seeking comment from MLB reps was not immediately returned Tuesday.
O’Nora, an Ohio native, is a married father of three. After joining the league in 1999, O’Nora went on to officiate the 2012 World Series, as well as the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland, according to his official MLB bio.
Attempts to reach O’Nora Tuesday were unsuccessful. A message left at a phone listed in his name was not immediately returned.