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.


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