Those who pay for sex should be in database

Mid-Ohio Valley residents have heard plenty of warnings from local law enforcement that human trafficking is not a “somewhere else” problem. It is a “right here at home” problem. In fact, though many of us read words like “human trafficking” and assume it is something new and unfamiliar, the reality is it is often a new term for a very old problem — the prostitution, pandering … and buying that one official said looks a lot more like the story told in Reba McEntire’s song “Fancy” than most people think.

But there is no doubt the struggles with a stagnant economy and substance abuse epidemic, combined with our location along major transportation routes have made our region vulnerable.

That is why a bill introduced by state Rep. Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Township, is important. It creates a database of individuals convicted of trying to buy sex. It goes after the demand side of the equation, though lawmakers might want to take a look at strengthening the provision that now says individuals would drop off the database if only five years pass without another conviction.

Attorney General David Yost backs the bill. And, providing it is enforced properly and the database is well maintained, lawmakers should do so as well. It will provide one more weapon in the fight to keep the most vulnerable Ohioans safe.


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