Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking. Human trafficking is considered a modern-day type of slavery, as alleged victims involuntarily perform work or services for others.
A trafficking offense occurs when someone uses fraud, coercion, or force to exploit a person. If the alleged offender intends to make the alleged victim perform a sex act, it is referred to as sex trafficking. If the alleged victim is under 18 years of age, any conduct used to get them to engage in sexual conduct can be considered sex trafficking. Thus, the government would not have to prove that any type of manipulation took place to get the minor to perform in the act.
Sex trafficking is a serious crime that is prohibited under both state and federal laws.
Sex Trafficking Defined Under Federal Laws
Federal laws define sex trafficking as knowingly having a person under 18 years of age engage in a commercial sex act. A commercial sex act is any sexual activity that is performed in exchange for something of value.
The penalties for a federal sex trafficking conviction depend on the methods used to get the minor to perform in the sexual conduct and the age of the alleged victim. If the minor was under 14 years of age at the time of the alleged offense, upon a conviction the defendant may be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life behind bars. These penalties are also levied when force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion was used.
The use of coercion means the alleged offender made a threat of harm against the minor or any other person. It could also mean that the alleged offender developed some type of scheme to make the minor believe that they or anyone else might suffer serious harm should they not engage in the sexual act.
If no force was used and the alleged victim was older than 14 years of age but younger than 18 years of age, the offender may be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment or a maximum of life in prison.
Ohio’s Law on Sex Trafficking
Ohio Revised Code 2905.32 is the statute concerned with trafficking in persons, which is another phrase used for human trafficking. Similar to federal law, it provides that a person commits an offense when they recruit, lure, entice, or transport another person knowing that the alleged victim will be made to engage in sexual conduct.
Sex trafficking (or trafficking in persons) is a first-degree felony. The minimum prison term for a conviction is 10 years. Additionally, any person found guilty of the offense will be required to register as a Tier II sex offender.
If you have been charged with a state or federal sex trafficking crime, contact Rion, Rion & Rion at (937) 223-9133 today. Our Dayton attorneys have over 80 years of combined experience and will fight aggressively for you.