Ohio Rep. Announces Child Sex Trafficking Bill
Updated: Monday, April 8 2013, 06:57 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- An Ohio state representative is pushing a bill that would give prosecutors new tools in the fight against child sex trafficking.
Rep. Teresa Fedor's (D - Toledo) End Demand Act would target those who engage in sex acts with children -- as well as those responsible for forcing the victims to participate in the acts -- through increased penalties and regulations.
"If you're soliciting a minor, you're soliciting rape," Rep. Fedor said. "These minors are under pimp control. They have no control of their life."
Among the changes included in the proposal:
- A requirement that force or coercion must be proved in a trafficking prosecution would be eliminated.
- The statute of limitations on child sex trafficking crimes would increase from 6 to 20 years.
- Those accused of solicitation of commercial sex involving a minor would be charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor, and would be required to register as tier 2 sex offenders if convicted.
- Suspects could be charged as traffickers even if they do not transport victims across state or county lines.
- Rape shield laws would be applied in cases of child sex trafficking.
- Anyone interested in advertising the practice of massage would be required to possess official state or local certification.
Rep. Fedor plans to formally introduce the bill in mid-April.
Web Producer: Ken Hines