Four arrested in Amsterdam underage sex sting

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CCM Staff Report

Four men are facing charges in connection with a sting operation conducted in the Amsterdam area over the last few days.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Paul Bright, 63, and Chad Valalik, 60, both of Amsterdam; Kyle Vinka, 30, of Bergholz; and Jason Clutter, 36, of Malvern are all being held in the county jail on underage sex-related charges.

Jail records show Bright is being held without bail on pending charges. Clutter is charged with importuning and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor; Vahalik is charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and Vinka with corruption of a minor. Additional charges are pending. All three are scheduled to appear in Jefferson County District 2 Court at Wintersville Oct. 12 beginning at 2 p.m.

Amsterdam Police Officer Tyler Yoho said the sting operation, called “Operation Trick or Treat – To Catch a Predator” came about after he received complaints from village residents.

Yoho said a social media account was set up with an undercover cop posing as an underage female.

“The decoy had hits within 48 hours of the operation being set up,” Yoho told a Messenger reporter. “These individuals who solicited sexual acts and arranged to meet with our decoy are the results of this operation’s effort to address the complaints received in our department.”

Mayor Jim Phillips said he plans to ask Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Bruzzese to seek the maximum sentence in these cases.

“I want everyone to know this isn’t an ‘Amsterdam problem,’ this is a global crisis,” he said. “If this goes to trial, I will humbly ask the judge the same thing. We are sending a very clear message: the Amsterdam Police Dept. and myself will not tolerate predators in our village. We will do everything in our power to make sure justice is served.”

The operation was a combined effort by the Amsterdam Police Department, Jefferson County Prosecutors Office, Bergholz Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Dept. and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Any other individuals who believe they are victims of a crime by these individuals or any other individuals, should contact Amsterdam Police Department at 740-543-3797 or Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 740-284-3350.

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