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Lawmakers Trying To Toughen Penalties For Importuning

Aug 24, 2017

State Representatives Kent Smith and Tim Schaefer (L-R front row) and supporters of the bill speak with reporters at the Statehouse
Credit Ohio Public Radio

Some state legislators are trying to toughen the punishment for those convicted of importuning, or soliciting a minor for sex over the internet.

Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Sponsors of the bill say predators often are sentenced to little or no prison time. Republican Representative Tim Schaefer’s bill would create a mandatory six-month minimum prison term for anyone convicted of the crime.

 

“Nobody wants to go to state prison. I think that’s fair to say. (laughs) And the threat of a mandatory prison term hanging over the perpetrator’s head, I hope would help deter them.”

 

The same bill passed the House unanimously last year but there wasn’t time to get it through the Senate before the two-year session ended. Lawmakers now have until the end of next year to pass it this time around.