Fedor's Bill Protecting Child Sex Trafficking Survivors Passes Senate
July 17, 2019
Today, state Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) announced the passage of the Protect Trafficked Minors Act, Senate Bill 13. The bill passed unanimously on the Senate floor after a vote out of Senate Judiciary Committee earlier in the day.
The bill would eliminate Ohio’s current two-tiered system in child sex trafficking laws. During the last legislative session, this bill received bipartisan support and was approved by the Ohio House of Representatives. With human trafficking prevention highlighted as a priority by legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle, Fedor’s bill is now halfway to becoming law.
“This bill is a critical piece in our broader effort to protect all of Ohio’s minors from the horrors of sex trafficking,” said Fedor. “Now our children will be protected and rescued rather than arrested and unjustly convicted.”
Currently, prosecutors are required to demonstrate force, fraud or coercion for a 16- or 17-year-old trafficking victim to qualify for the protections available to other minors. Ohio is the last state in the country to have this requirement. The Protect Trafficked Minors Act would change this, and also bring Ohio law into compliance with federal law, making available additional resources for the broader anti-human trafficking effort in the state.
“These best practices are supported by prosecutors, judges, public defenders and victim advocates,” said Fedor. “Today the Ohio Senate made a bold statement to traffickers that we will not allow them to escape the halls of justice.”
The bill now heads to the Ohio House for referral to a committee.