For Immediate Release: Friday, July 6, 2018

CLEVELAND — On Tuesday, Democratic nominee for Attorney General Steve Dettelbach rolled out a new policy platform, designed to combat human trafficking in Ohio by way of a nine-point plan. The proposed solutions aim to toughen human trafficking laws, increase penalties for offenders and provide resources and support to survivors.

For over two decades as a federal prosecutor, Dettelbach served on the frontlines of the fight against human trafficking. As a young prosecutor at the Justice Department, he successfully prosecuted what was then the largest human trafficking case in the country. As United States Attorney for Northern Ohio, Dettelbach and his team of prosecutors worked with law enforcement to convict more than 40 defendants who preyed on young girls and other vulnerable people in Ohio.

The plan in its entirety can be accessed HERE.

Key highlights follow:

Toledo Blade (Editorial) Slavery in Ohio

July 5, 2018

Mr. Dettelbach has demonstrated genuine seriousness about an issue critical to Ohio. His stance is an invitation, not only to his opponent in the AG’s race, but to all Ohio politicians to raise their game — both in terms of understanding and in terms of legislation — on one of the great moral challenges of our time. 

Human trafficking is slavery, pure and simple. That it should be so prevalent in our state brings great shame upon Ohio.

Dayton Daily News Here are 9 ways this Ohio attorney general candidate wants to battle human trafficking

Mark Govaki – July 3, 2018

Human trafficking stories like the one of a woman forced to work for a cult in several cities including in Dayton are the reason Steve Dettelbach said he’s put forward a nine-point plan to combat modern-day slavery.


In an exclusive interview Monday with this news outlet, Dettelbach stressed the need for citizens to help identify human trafficking and outlined his strategy to strengthen the state’s laws.

“This is a horrible problem everywhere, but it is a bad problem in Ohio,” Dettelbach said. “It hides in plain sight all over the state, in cities, in rural areas.”

Columbus Dispatch Attorney general candidate Dettelbach details fight against human trafficking

Marty Schladen – July 3, 2018

Among his prescriptions are to strengthen penalties already on the books, close what he says is an important loophole in existing law and expand human-trafficking task forces across the state.

“This is a stubborn, persistent and nationwide problem,” Dettelbach said.

A former federal prosecutor, Dettelbach has handled a number of high-profile cases in which people were trafficked for labor or for sex. They include one involving an Elyria man who was sentenced to life in prison for forcing four women — including a 16-year-old — to work as prostitutes.

Toledo Blade Attorney general candidate seeks tougher trafficking penalties

Jim Provance – July 3, 2018

“The proposals I’m putting forward show that we just haven’t done everything that we can do,” he said. “We still do have a lot of this crime going undetected. We still do have many children who are being forced into commercial sex.”


Mr. Dettelbach threw his support behind passage of Ms. Fedor’s bill.

“They hide in plain sight …,” he said. “Ohioans and people nationally need to do better at not being nosy neighbors but being better neighbors … We need to make sure that we’re sending the message loud and clear to Ohioans that if they see something they should say something.”

He proposed tougher penalties for those who solicit sex with minors, further crackdowns on child pornography and child sex tourism, and greater access for victims to addiction, counseling, housing, and other services. He also called for more anti-trafficking task forces across the state like the one in place in Toledo. 

Ideastream AG Candidate Dettelbach Proposes Strengthening Human Trafficking Penalties, Laws

Elizabeth Miller – July 3, 2018 

Dettelbach’s 9-point plan also calls for a stronger law to prohibit sex trafficking of 16- and 17-year olds.

“The proposals I’m putting forward show that we just haven’t done everything we can do, and we haven’t done enough,” said Dettelbach. “We still do have a lot of this crime going undetected.”

Hannah News Service Dettelbach Outlines Anti-Trafficking Plans

Noah Blundo – July 3, 2018

“I have seen it as a problem that is real, that is nationwide and that victimizes the most vulnerable among us, oftentimes children,” [Dettelbach] said in a conference call. “This is a stubborn, persistent and nationwide problem.”

Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), who’s long made anti-trafficking efforts a focus of her legislative career, lent her support to his plan and touted his experience on the issue.

“There’s only one candidate for AG who has a track record of locking up traffickers and supporting victims,” Fedor said.

The platform includes endorsing passage of Fedor’s HB461, which would eliminate the requirement to prove the use of force, fraud or coercion in trafficking cases involving 16- and 17-year-old victims.

 Gongwer News Service Democratic AG Candidate Unveils Plans To Address Human Trafficking

Dustin Ensinger – July 3, 2018

 Mr. Dettelbach said he has fought against human trafficking for more than 20 years, before it was even labeled as such.


 “I have seen it as a problem that is real, that is nationwide and that victimizes the most vulnerable among us,” he said.

 Dr. Celia Williamson, a human trafficking researcher and advocate, praised his work in the area.

 “I think Steve is the person that we need in that position to really do the work and move the issue forward,” she said.

 The plan in its entirety can be accessed HERE.


Steve Dettelbach, the Democratic candidate for Ohio Attorney General, is a former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and career federal prosecutor.