COLUMBUS—Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced today that the Ohio Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation strengthening criminal penalties for individuals who are convicted of promoting prostitution in Ohio. The bill is part of a comprehensive statewide effort to fight human trafficking. Senate Bill 5
, co-sponsored by Obhof, 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.
“We know prostitution is directly linked to human trafficking, and we will continue to fight this cruel industry on many fronts,” said Obhof. “Senate Bill 5 is one more important step to stop this industry’s vicious cycle of abuse and forced crime.”
Federal and local law enforcement agencies have been key partners in the development of Senate Bill 5 and a driving force behind increasing penalties of these heinous crimes.
The Senate has passed several bills in the last decade aimed at combating human trafficking, through better enforcement, increased penalties and efforts to promote greater public awareness. The 10th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day was held last week at the Statehouse and brought many legislators, advocates and survivors together to work on solutions to prevent trafficking and support its victims. For more information about the state of Ohio's efforts on this issue, visit humantrafficking.ohio.gov
Senate Bill 5 now moves to the Ohio House for further consideration.