COLUMBUS - State Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) today joined State Senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Ohio Governor John Kasich for the ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 7, which strengthens existing law so that offenders who avoid service of a protection order and knowingly violate the terms of the order can be prosecuted.

“In many cases current law does not allow for prosecution of individuals who intentionally avoid and knowingly violate protection orders,” said Bacon. “This legislation prevents people who knowingly violate protection orders from taking advantage of the law.” 

The legislation overturns an Ohio Supreme Court case, State v. Smith, (2008-1781) which ruled that a defendant cannot be prosecuted if he or she knowingly violated a protection order but did not receive formal service prior to the violation.

"There are loopholes in the current law that this legislation helps to eliminate, in order to protect victims of domestic violence, making it clear, that if a protection order is deliberately violated, the violator could be prosecuted," said Senator Manning, who jointly sponsored Senate Bill 7. 

In State v. Smith, the Court ruled that a potentially violent offender was not properly served with a protection order even though he had been shown an actual copy of the order.  The case stemmed from a dispute between a man and a woman in the Columbus area.  After a protection order had been issued against him by the court, the man approached the victim at her place of residence. At that time, she physically showed the order to the man and indicated that he could not be near her. The following day, he broke into the victim’s house and assaulted her. 

Senate Bill 7 would ensure that violators of protection orders may be charged if the prosecution can establish that the violator knowingly violated its terms. 
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