COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Individuals convicted of trying to buy sex or trafficking women for sex would be placed on a publicly accessible database for five years, under legislation approved Thursday by the Ohio House.
Supporters say the measure, backed by Attorney General David Yost, is aimed at the demand side of prostitution.
Current law makes it easy for someone caught soliciting a prostitute to keep that information hidden, according to bill sponsor Rep. Cindy Abrams, a Republican from Harrison in suburban Cincinnati.
Co-sponsor Rep. Rick Carfagna, a Republican from Genoa Township in suburban Columbus, said the legislation could provide the deterrent needed to stop people from soliciting sex.
Individuals would automatically drop off the database if five years pass without another conviction.
If a conviction was overturned before that, they could petition the Attorney General's office to have their name removed.
Supporters say the databases will reduce the demand for trafficked women by exposing buyers. Opponents say there's no evidence such programs work and they make it harder for men to redeem themselves and get help.
The bill goes next to the Senate, which has its own version of the legislation.