An Indiana Senate committee has endorsed a proposal toughening penalties for those convicted of human sex trafficking that legislators hope to pass before football fans arrive in Indianapolis for next month’s Super Bowl.
The Senate’s criminal code committee voted 9-0 Thursday in support of the bill. Supporters say it would make it easier to prosecute sex trafficking cases involving victims younger than 16 by removing a requirement to prove that force or fraud was involved.
The bill makes such cases a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Bill sponsor Sen. Randy Head of Logansport says that and other provisions are needed to help combat an expected rise in prostitution that has accompanied the Super Bowl elsewhere.
The bill now goes to the full Senate.