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Daniels signs new penalties for sex trafficking

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law Monday giving prosecutors more tools to battle human sex trafficking ahead of this weekend's Super Bowl.

Daniels and other state leaders have said they were concerned sex traffickers would target the estimated 150,000 football fans flocking to Indianapolis for Sunday's football championship. They cited increased levels of prostitution that have accompanied many major sports events around the country.

"This puts up the 'Don't Try It Here' sign in Indiana," Daniels said before signing the measure into law.

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 a felony punishable by 20 years to 50 years in prison.

The measure won unanimous support in the House and Senate and was the first bill signed by Daniels this year.

"Today we close loopholes in Indiana law so our police and prosecutors have the legal tools they need to crack down on those who traffic young victims in a growing area of criminal enterprise that is considered a modern form of human slavery," Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement.

Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell said there are 30 state troopers already working on the problem in the city, although he said he did not want to disclose their tactics or the state's strategy.

"There is a significant number of law enforcement looking for these people," Whitesell said.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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