In Senate Bill 16, one of the two major criminal justice reform bills, lawmakers included a provision to prevent violent sex offenders from working or volunteering in a position with extensive contact with children. This originated from House Bill 459, which was introduced by Cutrona and state Rep. Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Twp.)
“Previously, Ohio did not have any laws on the books that would prevent a child sex offender from volunteering in a role with children,” the lawmaker said. “This will protect our children and keep them safe.”
The language around the bill could be a legal mess, according to Case Western Reserve University Law Professor Mike Benza.
“The statute is very particular. It’s not that you are employed by a company or agency that has contact with juveniles or with minors, but that the individual position is a position in which you would have extensive and unaccompanied conduct or supervision of a child or a minor,” said Benza.
Benza points to vague language in the bill that leads to more questions about how it could work, for example, in a haunted house setting.