Senate Bill 64, sponsored by Bill Beagle, passed the Senate unanimously today. If enacted, the bill would strengthen Ohio’s child enticement laws by clarifying that a potential offender must have unlawful intent for their actions to be considered illegal.

The legislation, jointly introduced with State Senator Gayle Manning (R–North Ridgeville), is in response to a recent ruling by the 9th District Court of Appeals where Ohio’s current child enticement law was found unconstitutional.

“As a father myself, I can think of nothing more important than the safety of Ohio’s children,” said Beagle. “By bringing clarity to this law, we can ensure that our court system has the necessary tools to keep criminals accountable.”

The appellate court found Ohio’s current statute unconstitutional because it lacks an “illicit intent” provision. As part of the Akron case, it was argued that the current law treats a person with unlawful intent the same as a parent who offers a ride home to a child’s friend.

Senate Bill 64 clarifies the statute and gives future courts the instruction and ability to convict individuals with intent to harm Ohio’s children.

 

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