First case prosecuted under new law; juvenile victims helped through safe harbor provision
Representative Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) sponsored and helped pass H.B. 262 just this summer and now, according to a source at the FBI's Northwest Ohio Task Force, Ohio's most recent human trafficking law has been used for the first time to prosecute a trafficker. The man had moved to Ohio to run a trafficking operation and is charged with sexually exploiting two adult women. Because the case is ongoing, more information is not publicly available.
"I am so proud to see my legislation having a direct impact on addressing one of the worst crimes imaginable. Toledo has developed a reputation for having a human trafficking problem and I think it is vital that Toledo now taking a lead in solving the problem," said Representative Fedor.
H.B. 262 also contained a safe harbor provision, which aids juvenile victims of trafficking by providing services instead of jail time. The Lucas County Juvenile Court has heard at least four such cases since the law went into effect in June. The law affects the 1,000 minors that are trafficked in Ohio annually and the 3,000 Ohio minors that are at risk of exploitation.