City, community leaders introduce measure to combat sex trafficking

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - On Tuesday afternoon, Councilmember Yvette Simpson and other community leaders announced new City efforts to reduce sex trafficking and prostitution in Cincinnati communities.

This includes introducing a Resolution to Cincinnati City Council supporting Ohio House Bill 130, which increases penalties for sex trafficking and prostitution-related offenses, and the establishment and enforcement of additional local measures to combat these crimes.

This work is the result of a coordinated effort among the City Administration, community leaders and local organizations dedicated to eradicating trafficking and prostitution.

"Sex trafficking and prostitution have a devastating impact on Cincinnati communities," stated Councilmember Simpson. "We must take a comprehensive approach to this issue, supporting Statewide efforts as well as establishing local measures to curb these crimes and improve our neighborhoods."

At Tuesday's Public Safety Committee meeting, Councilmember Simpson introduced a Resolution supporting Ohio House Bill 130.  H.B. 130 aims to reduce demand for sex trafficking and prostitution, and enhances protections for certain groups particularly vulnerable to trafficking.  Specifically, the legislation increases penalties for sex trafficking and prostitution-related offenses involving minors and individuals with developmental disabilities, and establishes a new spousal notification requirement for individuals convicted of sex trafficking and prostitution-related offenses.

Councilmember Simpson also put forth a motion addressing the potential for new local measures to combat these crimes.  The motion requests that the Administration review its enforcement of two State laws, suspending driver's licenses and requiring HIV/venereal disease testing of offenders convicted of prostitution-related offenses.

These issues were discussed by community and organizational leaders at the Public Safety Committee meeting, and the motion and Resolution supporting H.B. 130 will be voted on by the full Council at Wednesday's regularly scheduled meeting.

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