This week, Ohio Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) introduced legislation proposing criminal justice reforms that would give victims of human trafficking an opportunity to restore their dignity and rebuild their lives.

"Human trafficking is a sobering reality and a growing criminal enterprise in Ohio," said Obhof. "As we continue our efforts to stomp out modern-day slavery and combat these heinous crimes, we must also acknowledge and defend the victims who struggle to rebuild their lives."

Senate Bill 284 offers hope for human trafficking victims, allowing them to have their records expunged and providing for intervention in lieu of convictions for victims of such crimes.

The proposed legislation compliments a series of bills passed over the last several years aimed at combatting the problem through better enforcement, increased penalties and efforts to promote greater public awareness.

Senate Bill 284 seeks to remove barriers for victims pursuing legitimate employment so they can rebuild their lives and provide for themselves and their families. It is similar to House Bill 268, introduced last year by Representative David Hall (R-Millersburg).

During a speech in January at Ohio's seventh annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Senator Obhof expressed his commitment to fighting for justice for the victims of human trafficking.

Senate Bill 284 will now be referred to a Senate committee for further consideration.

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