12/19/11 State Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) introduced legislation Friday morning during a news conference at the Statehouse that would amend current Indiana laws to more effectively prosecute human traffickers.
“Some Hoosiers may think trafficking is only an international problem we hear about on the news,” Head said. “But we have to face reality and understand this is happening right here in our own state. Up to 4 million women, children and men are illegally trafficked each year. I want to see Indiana do its part to put trafficking leaders away.”
Joining Head at the news conference to show cooperation across different branches and levels of government were Gov. Mitch Daniels, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Sen. Greg Walker, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and Sergeant Jon Daggy with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. State attorneys general have reported an influx of human trafficking has occurred in other cities that have hosted Super Bowls and other large sporting events, as organized criminal groups within the commercial sex industry promoted underage prostitution to out-of-town visitors.
“Hosting the Super Bowl and other major sporting events will be a tremendous opportunity to highlight the many benefits of our State and something for which all Hoosiers should be proud; but we must be realistic and candid about the fact that organized criminals who exploit young women and children through human trafficking have gravitated to such gatherings in other cities. Recognizing that Indiana’s existing statute is inadequate to this new threat and should be updated to close loopholes, we make this extraordinary request to the General Assembly to pass Senator Head’s bill within the short window before the Super Bowl,” Zoeller said.
As part of the National Association of Attorneys General “Pillars of Hope” Presidential Initiative, AG Zoeller has been publicly supportive of efforts to combat human trafficking through deterring demand.
Human trafficking is considered by many experts the fastest growing criminal activity worldwide, yet some states have legal loopholes that could allow some forms of the activity to go unprosecuted.
“Indiana is tougher than most states when it comes to outlawing human trafficking, but our state’s laws still earned a D grade from Shared Hope International—a leading sexual-trafficking awareness group,” Head said. “I am determined to help us change that during the upcoming legislative session.”