Bill goes a long way towards reducing demand for commercial sex with minors

COLUMBUS- State Rep. Teresa Fedor’s (D-Toledo) End Demand Act, Sub. House Bill 130, passed today by a vote of 32-0 in the Ohio Senate. Throughout the legislative process, the bill has been changed through efforts from both sides of the aisle.

“The efforts in the Senate were pretty serious and incredible,” said Rep. Fedor. “We came out with a strong bill–one that builds upon the progress that we’ve made in combatting human trafficking through House Bill 262 and others. We’ve moved the needle in reducing demand.”

The bill is now ready to be signed into law by Governor Kasich.

“This legislation is the result of years of hard work. The goal since the passage of House Bill 262 has been to tackle the market-driven demand for purchasing commercial sex by improving and sustaining policies and passing laws focused on the buyers of illegal sex, as well as providing law enforcement more tools to combat this crime. The bill increases penalties for purchasing sex from a minor from a misdemeanor to a felony–requiring offenders to register as tier two sex offenders, prohibits the advertisement of massage with the promise of sexual activity, restricts the use of ‘massage’ and related terms in advertising, and terminates parental rights for those found trafficking their children, among other things,” continued Rep. Fedor.

Rep. Fedor was taken aback eight years ago by the shocking report of a trafficking ring in which 77 victims came from Toledo, Ohio. Of those, 38 victims were under 18 years of age and one was only 10 years old. Since then, she has been determined to pass bipartisan legislation, saying that it’s a “humanitarian issue” that no one can turn their back on. The bill contains an Emergency Clause and therefore is immediately enacted upon the signature of Governor Kasich.

“No political lines are involved when there’s a violation of human rights–you can’t deny the truth. We are taking part in the modern-day abolition movement and we have moved the ball forward in so many different ways for victims. As legislators, we put aside partisan divisions and made the youth of our state the first priority. With the passage of this bill, we will continue to clean up this horrific crime and save victims. I want to thank the Governor’s office, Senator Eklund, Senator Kearney and the rest of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee for their hard work on this bill,” said Rep. Fedor.