OH S.B. 235: Support Anti-trafficking, but beware of broad scope of application

Senators Fedor and Grendell are to be applauded for their sponsorship of legislation that will (finally) increase the penalties for sex trafficking to be a stand alone charge as a class 2 felony in Ohio.  While the penalties are still not strong enough (in my opinion) for what is deserved for those that kidnap, coerce, threaten and intimidate, or for the damage inflicted upon victims of sex trafficking, it is at least a step in the right direction.




I do have one concern though, and it is a concern that seems to be shared by Sen. Seitz, who has offered amended language to the bill during it's time in committee.  Not all individuals hiring sex workers are traffickers, and blanket judgment and penalties should not be extended to include those customers involved unless the prosecution finds evidence to deem it as the same.  The following is Sen. Seitz proposed amendment to the language:


Seitz Proposed Amendments: Sec 2905.32


(A.) No person shall knowingly recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain, or knowingly attempt to recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain another person knowing that the person will be subjected to involuntary servitude or be compelled to engage in sexual activity for hire, engage in a performance that is obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity oriented, or be a model or participant in the production of material that is obscene, or nudity oriented


(B.) No person shall be convicted of trafficking in persons solely for using the services of a person who is a victim of trafficking in persons without evidence of some additional involvement in the crime.


(C.) For a prosecution under this section, the element "compelled" does not require that the compulsion be openly displayed or physically exerted, but may be accomplished by psychological means. The element "compelled" has been established if the state proves that fear, duress, or intimidation employed by the defendant or his accomplices would have caused a reasonable victim's will to be overcome


(D.) The enactment of section 2905.32 does not limit or preclude, and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding, any prosecution for a violation of any other section of the Revised Code for the same conduct alleged to have been committed by the offender in the violation of section 2905.32. However, if the offender is found guilty of a violation of section 2905.32 and any other offense based on the same conduct involving the same victim which was the basis for the conviction under section 2905.32, the two offenses are deemed to be allied of similar import under section 2941.25


(E.) Whoever violates this section is guilty of trafficking in persons, a felony of the second degree.


Yes, there certainly ARE clients that are complicit, or even seek out minors and other being exploited because THEY ARE PREDATORS...predators that should be punished right along side of the traffickers controlling the victims.  But that is not where MOST consumers of sex workers are coming from, and they should not be subjected to being lumped in with those that are truly some of the most despicable creatures on earth.


In my 18+ years of sex work, the most pervasive and consistent undercurrent of what I've come in contact with from clients (some that have hired me, some that have only sought my advice...) is that they crave more then even just a consenting partner, but a willing one...one that enjoys their own sexuality, and enjoys sharing that with others.  Why? Because their partner at home no longer is interested in sex (for a variety of reasons...), and/or because a willing partner makes the client feel like they are desirable, therefore giving them an ego boost.  The furthest thing from most of the minds of those hiring sex workers is subjugating another person to an non-consensual act.  Most would loose any sense of excitement or arousal immediately at the hint of actual force or coercion.  I know this is true because I've heard direct accounts of concern from some of these clients over what to do when they have suspected someone was in trouble.  Is it fair to categorize these individuals in the same manner as the person(s) involved in the actual intimidation, control, and sale of non-consenting males, females or transgender?  I think not, and hope Ohio residents consider supporting Sen. Seitz's reasonable request for rewording to this important bill.


Below are contacts to help voice your opinion.  Thank you for taking the time to read this note!


Senator Seitz

Phone: (614) 466-8068

Email: SD08@senate.state.oh.us


Senator Fedor

Phone: (614) 466-5204 

Email: SD11@maild.sen.state.oh.us


Senator Grendell

Phone: (614) 644-7718 

Email: SD18@senate.state.oh.us


The bill is currently in the OH Senate Committee on Criminal Justice.  Members can be seen here:



Other important contacts re: this legislation:


Senator Bill Harris                        614-466-8086

Senator Tom Niehaus                   614-466-8082

Representative Armond Budish     614-466-5441

Representative Matt Szollosi         614-466-1418

Representative Bill Batchelder       614-466-8140


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  • 11/21/2010 4:05 PM Divinity33372 wrote:
    This is great news! Tiny steps forward.
  • 1/17/2011 3:15 AM painter 11 wrote:
    Good luck getting people behind this one. Though you make some VERY fascinating points, youre going to have to do more than bring up a few things that may be different than what weve already heard. What are trying to say here? What do you want us to think? It seems like you cant really get behind a unique thought. Anyway, thats just my opinion.
    1. 1/17/2011 12:38 PM Sex Workers For Choice wrote:
      Hi painter11-thank you for your comments and opinion.  This bill was actually signed into law before the end of 2010, and did include revisions that avoided automatic designation that clients be considered traffickers unless evidence supports their knowledge and/or participation in that offense.

      Here is the bill that passed the OH Senate:


      Here is a news link to coverage of Gov. Strickland signing the bill into law:


      Megan Morgenson
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