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Indiana Senate backs tougher sex-trafficking law

January 10, 2012

The Indiana Senate has approved a bill to toughen penalties for sex trafficking, and supporters hope it will become law before football fans converge on Indianapolis for the Super Bowl in less than a month.

The Senate voted 48-0 in favor of the bill on Tuesday, sending it to the House for consideration.

Prosecutors and other supporters say the bill would make it easier to prosecute sex trafficking cases involving victims younger than 16 and broaden the law for cases with older victims.

The bill makes recruiting, transporting or harboring anyone younger than 16 for prostitution or other sexual conduct a felony punishable by 20 years to 50 years in prison. It also would bar defendants from arguing a child consented to the sexual activity.

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