State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today announced the passage of legislation providing common sense criminal justice reforms to give the victims of human trafficking an opportunity to rebuild their lives. 

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

Obhof sponsored Senate Bill 284, which offers hope for human trafficking victims. If a trafficking victim commits certain crimes as a result of his or her victimization, this legislation would allow for expungement of those offenses from the victim's record. 

The legislation complements a series of bills passed over the last several years aimed at eradicating human trafficking through better enforcement, increased penalties for perpetrators and greater public awareness. 

Similar to House Bill 268, proposed by Representative David Hall (R-Millersburg), Senate Bill 284 removes barriers for victims pursuing legitimate employment so victims can start with a clean slate.

Senate Bill 284 will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration. 

In other business, the Senate also passed House Bill 60, commonly known as Goddard's Law. The bill prohibits acts of cruelty against companion animals and includes penalties for intentionally killing a police dog.

"This legislation strengthens punishments for the abuse of companion animals," said Obhof, who co-sponsored the bill.

The legislation was dubbed Goddard's Law in honor of northeast Ohio weatherman Dick Goddard, who passionately advocated for strengthening the state's animal abuse penalties. 

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