COLUMBUS—The Senate passed legislation today sponsored by State Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), which would strengthen criminal penalties for individuals who are convicted of promoting prostitution in Ohio.
If signed into law, the bill would prohibit any person from knowingly taking part in the creation or operation of any enterprise that facilitates engagement in sexual activity for hire, such as a brothel.
“Senate Bill 5 will put human traffickers in prison. Often the evidence required to prove human trafficking places a threat to the victim's safety and well-being," said Senator Dolan. "With the increased penalties authorized in this bill, law enforcement can put human traffickers away by charging them with the promotion of prostitution.”
The Department of Homeland Security, as well as federal and local law enforcement agencies have been key components in the development of Senate Bill 5 and a driving force behind increasing penalties of these heinous crimes.
"Prostitution is directly linked to human trafficking, and stronger penalties are needed to help stop this cruel industry from trapping its victims in a vicious cycle of abuse and forced crime," said Senator Kunze.
This legislation compliments a series of bills passed over the last several years aimed at combatting human trafficking, through better enforcement, increased penalties and efforts to promote greater public awareness.
Senate Bill 5 will now be sent to the House for further consideration.