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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. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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