Sometimes laws have unintended consequences. This is true for Ohio’s sex trafficking law that seems to make victims into perpetrators. While society should stand up for and assist a victim of such a crime, Ohio law stands out in the nation as a big misstep in this area. This is prompting some groups to demand a change in the law to protect victims and focus more on those who are really responsible.
With Ohio ranking 4th among states for human trafficking, it is obvious stiff laws and harsh penalties are a must. However, the juvenile sex trafficking laws and the prostitution laws in the state are not protecting the victims they need to protect. While federal juvenile sex trafficking laws state that any minor who is sexually exploited is a victim of the crime and not a perpetrator, in Ohio, prostitution laws allow for a minor age 16 or 17 to face charges if he or she cannot prove being forced into the act. Only if he or she can prove an adult was responsible will the adult will face juvenile sex trafficking charges and the minor be free of charges.
The main motivation to change the law is that victims are being victimized a second time by having to face charges. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation as victims, especially children, should be able to find help from the law and not punishment. It may prevent some victims from coming forward. You might find it helpful to consult an attorney if you find your child facing such charges.
Source: The Enquirer