Woman charged with human trafficking denied lower bond

J Swygart, The Lima News, Ohio
·2 min read

Apr. 12—LIMA — A Bluffton woman charged with human trafficking and 14 other sex-related charges saw her request for a lower bond denied in court Monday.

Susan Walendzik, 42, alleged through her attorney that she is suffering from "serious" medical issues that are not being sufficiently addressed during her incarceration in the Allen County jail.

Defense Attorney Michael Hayes said he requested hospital records that he believed would shed further light on claims made by Walendzik that she was diagnosed in November 2020, shortly before her arrest, with a mass in her stomach and that she has experienced a high level of pain while in jail that is going untreated.

Special Prosecutor Jennifer Rausch, assistant attorney general for the state of Ohio and legal director for the attorney general's Human Trafficking Initiative, said jail records show that Walendzik last complained of severe pain on Feb. 4 and that there is "nothing in those records to reflect a serious medical issue." Rausch said the state would object to any reduction in the Bluffton woman's bond, which is currently set at $500,000 cash or surety.

Walendzik, 42, and her live-in boyfriend, Grant Rose, 57, were each indicted in January on single counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, first-degree felonies; 13 counts of trafficking in persons/commercial sex acts, also first-degree felonies; and one count of promoting prostitution, fourth-degree felonies.

The alleged victim in the case took the witness stand in Lima Municipal Court in December and identified Walendzik and Rose as people who "made me do things ... sexual things."

The girl, now 18, said it was primarily Walendzik who arranged sexual meetings for her, while Rose would drive her to engage in the sexual acts "in parking lots, parks or at his home."

A jury trial for Walendzik is scheduled for August. Judge Jeffrey Reed, who denied any bond reduction "pending any new (medical) information," set a May 3 deadline for attorneys in the case to file any new motions.