TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich is ready to sign a bill that increases penalties for human trafficking and creates a fund to help victims.
Kasich's office said he would sign the measure into law Wednesday in Toledo.
It would make human trafficking a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. That's tougher than the second-degree felony that the state Legislature established in late 2010 to tackle what's described as modern-day slavery.
Victims of human trafficking are often forced into the sex trade or pushed to work against their will in fields, restaurants or other sweatshop-type jobs. The bill would create a path for victims to have their records expunged if they have prostitution or solicitation charges as a result of being forced into the sex trade.
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