LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — Criminal penalties for those convicted of promoting prostitution and human trafficking are strengthening throughout the state.
Senate Bill 5 is a part of Ohio's comprehensive effort to combat human trafficking. Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law Thursday.
"It has a deterrent effect necessary to prosecute traffickers who often walk away with little to no punishment," said State Senator Teresa Fedor.
The bill specifically increases punishments when a human trafficking case involves a minor increasing a fourth degree felony to a third. Senator Fedor is a supporter of this bill and wants to continue to work on this issue. Fedor believes giving law enforcement additional tools to combat this issue is also important.
"It needs to be combated at all different levels in our culture and our society. People who are promoting prostitution especially on minors are walking away from the halls of justice," said Fedor.
The bill has support from human trafficking experts from all across Ohio. The harsher punishments will officially be enforced in 90 days.