Sex sting operation followed years of complaints

November 27, 2013

SIDNEY — After neighbor complaints and noticeable ads on Craigslist, Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies set up video cameras and license plate readers during a 60-day investigation that led to the arrest of nine men who were engaged in sexual activity at the Lockington Reserve in southern Shelby County.

“You always see late night cars going up and down and they will just sit and park on the dam they will be up there for hours,” Layla Bingham told ABC news in Dayton.

In the last two months, law enforcement officers saw the same couple dozen cars — no women, no children, just men, according to Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart, who held a news conference Wednesday. Police had set up several sex stings in the past, but none as in-depth as this. It involved cameras that could photograph the scene from 25 yards.

The public indecency charge is a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Among those arrested was Jeff Billiel, 69, the editor of the Sidney Daily News for 41 years. Billiel resigned from his position Tuesday. He faces one count of public indecency after policy say surveillance video captured him involved in sexual activity with a male in the parking lot.

Others were:

• David Scott Stone, 47, of Vandalia, two counts of public indecency. Stone is employed as a supervisory gate agent at Dayton International Airport.

• Michael Perando, 55, of Piqua, charged with two counts of public indecency. Perando is a former City of Piqua Parks board member.

• Gerry Drees, 53, of Russia, charged with one count of public indecency

• Joshua Taylor, 29, of Piqua, charged with one count of public indecency

• George Treon, 72, of Versailles, faces one count of public indecency

• Dennis Baldwin, 64, of Arcanum, faces one count of public indecency

• James Miller, 52, of Bradford, faces one count of public indecency

• David Murray, 51, of Sidney, charged with one count of public indecency

The TV station reported a police video showed an unidentified naked man standing on a table. Later, he began running naked in the cold weather around the park.

None of that surprised neighbors.

Layla and Adam Bingham, who live across the street from Lockington Dam Park, said men had been using the park to perform sexual acts on each other for years.

“One time when I was little me and my cousin went up there and threw a rock at the bathroom and 12 guys just came out from inside the bathroom,” Adam told the television station. “They were all older guys.”

Both he and his wife, Layla, would like to see the park closed.

“I think they should just close it off. It’s not going to stop,” Layla said. “It’s been going on for so long. You have kids around here. Especially our daughter we don’t want her to have to see that.”