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Richardson Introduces Legislation to Help Reintroduce Victims of Human Trafficking Back into Society

January 23, 2024
Tracy M. Richardson News

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COLUMBUS - State Representative Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) has introduced legislation that will expunge certain non-violent crimes for victims of human trafficking.   

Currently, victims of human trafficking can have their records expunged for convicted crimes of soliciting, loitering and prostitution. Richardson’s legislation, the Expanding Human Trafficking Justice Act, will expand eligible offenses for expungement to include misdemeanors and fifth- and fourth-degree felonies. 

“Victims of human trafficking are counting on the legislature,” said Richardson. “I believe in the promise of new life and new beginnings for those trapped in the despair of trafficking. This legislation brings hope.” 

An individual must prove with clear and convincing evidence that their participation in the offense was a result of having been a victim of human trafficking. 

“Being a victim shouldn’t come with lifelong consequences,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in support of the measure. “We need to remove the obstacles that restrict survivors’ ability to get a job and secure housing so they can create the fresh start they deserve.”

State Representative Josh Williams (R-Sylvania) is sponsoring the legislation with Richardson. The legislation has not yet been assigned to a House committee.