On March 6, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation as part of a statewide effort to fight human trafficking. Senate Bill 5 would increase criminal penalties for individuals convicted of promoting prostitution, which has been linked to human trafficking.
Efforts to decrease prostitution and human trafficking have been present in the city of Dayton’s policy, as well, with the Buyer’s Remorse Campaign, which will publish the names and addresses of sex buyers. Facebook ads with this information also will be targeted toward those who live near the offenders.
State Sens. Stephanie Kunze (R-16) and Matt Dolan (R-24) are the primary sponsors of the bill. If signed into law, it would prohibit individuals from:
- Operating a brothel or other enterprise that facilitates engagement in sexual activity for hire
- Controlling the activities of a prostitute engaging in sexual activity for hire
- Transporting another in order to facilitate the other person’s engaging in sexual activity for hire
- Inducing or procuring another to engage in sexual activity for hire
Violations will result in a fourth-degree felony. However, certain circumstances will make the violation a third-degree felony, including if the prostitute involved in the offense is a minor or if the offender has been previously convicted. The violation also could be a second-degree felony if the offender has been convicted twice.
The full text of the bill can be read on the Ohio Legislature’s website.
Senate Bill 5 now goes to the Ohio House for consideration.