State Leaders Fight for Tougher Human Trafficking Laws

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SOUTH EUCLID, OH -- Just a few months ago, many would think it was impossible to hold someone captive for a decade.

But the rescue of  Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32 has brought human trafficking to the forefront.

"Purchasing sex from a minor is basically rape and it's a misdemeanor," said State Representative Teresa Fedor.

At a symposium on human trafficking, held at Notre Dame College and hosted by the Renee Jones Empowerment Center, Representative Fedor said that reducing the demand for sex from young girls will help reduce the levels of human trafficking and prostitution in the state.

She says that calls for stiffer penalties.

"You have a lot of sexual predators who know they can go purchase rape freely because we are not adequately addressing that law," she says.

Representative Fedor has introduced a bill that would make it a felony to purchase sex from a minor, or from anyone who is the victim of human trafficking.

She added that the rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight helped focus attention on the issue. She hopes that attention will help to get her proposal passed into law.