COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio lawmakers have approved a measure that increases penalties for human trafficking offenders and adds protections for victims.
The Ohio House unanimously endorsed the legislation Wednesday.
The bill says minors or developmentally disabled people should be considered victims of human trafficking if they’re recruited or held captive to engage in sexual activities.
House Speaker William Batchelder says the legislation gives authorities the tools they need to crack down on traffickers.
Among several other provisions, it requires offenders convicted of solicitation to register as sex offenders if the people they tried to lure are under 18 years old.
The crime of soliciting a minor who is younger than 18 or is developmentally disabled would increase from a misdemeanor to a felony offense.
The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.