Shame as deterrence: Bill would create online registry of Ohio ‘johns’

The Columbus Dispatch | Randy Ludlow

In a bid to use shame to deter the purchase of sex, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and a group of lawmakers want to post the names and photos of convicted “johns” and pimps in an online registry.

“Never underestimate the power of shame as a human motivator,” Yost said Wednesday afternoon in joining four lawmakers to unveil soon-to-be-introduced legislation targeting human trafficking.

“Basic economics works under the premise of supply and demand and right now we have a demand problem in Ohio,” Yost said. “Our goal is to reduce the demand and in return rescue victims from this modern-day slavery. Making that a reality starts by unmasking and penalizing those who buy sex or profit from human trafficking.”

Sen. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, said his bill will include a $190,000 two-year appropriation for Yost’s office to maintain a public registry on the Internet of those convicted of buying and promoting the purchase of sex from prostitutes…

Reps. Jena Powell, R-Arcanum, Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Township, and Cindy Abrams, R-Harrison, will introduce companion legislation in the House.

One bill would increase criminal penalties for repeat soliciting offenses and another would create a new crime targeting pimps — knowingly receiving financial proceeds for sex acts committed by prostitutes.

The buying and selling of sex would be separated as crimes, with those convicted of soliciting prostitutes facing a mandatory 30-day jail sentence for a second offense and a mandatory 60-day sentence for third and subsequent convictions. Most men who purchase sex seldom do much jail time, the state officials said. The crime would remain a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six months in jail.

The bill also would seek to make “john school” mandatory in which offenders would receive counseling for which they would pay, Yost said.

Read the full story here.

Get Involved!