Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the measure into law Monday, saying he hopes it will “put up the ‘Don’t Try It Here’ sign in Indiana” just in time for a game that Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says has a history of attracting increased activity in the commercial sex trade.
“Let’s home that the law has a deterrent effect,” Daniels said, “and that these criminals will take their horrible business somewhere else.”
The law, which took effect immediately upon the governor affixing his signature, closes loopholes that have made it tougher for Indiana to prosecute those who have helped sell children into sexual slavery.
It also strikes a provision of state law that required prosecutors to prove that those who are accused of coercing children into sexual slavery used or threatened to use physical force to do so.
Advocates said it was the one step Indiana absolutely had to take before the game.
As a result, Zoeller said, “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.”
Law enforcement officials on hand at Daniels’ bill signing ceremony Monday said there have been no arrests in Indianapolis yet associated with the Super Bowl, but that extra police are on hand specifically watching for human trafficking.