MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville offered testimony to the Ohio Senate asking that victims of human trafficking that commit serious felony offenses prove they acted under duress at trial, rather than in expungement hearings.
Senate Bill 4 expands criminal expungement rights already offered to human trafficking victims. Under the state’s current human trafficking law, anyone who commits a sex-for-hire offense while the victim of human trafficking can seek to have the offense expunged. SB 4 would expand the crimes that can be expunged to include first- and second-degree felony offenses, excluding murder or rape, according to an analysis of the bill by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.
Under SB 4, first-degree felonies such as aggravated burglary and second-degree felonies such as felonious assault could be expunged if the person participated in the crime while a victim of a human trafficking offense.
A crime can be expunged only after the convicted individual has served out their sentence, including probation or parole. It serves as a mechanism to clear away the record of a criminal conviction.