Some Indiana lawmakers are scrambling to protect kids from the threat of forced prostitution by adding child trafficking to the state’s list of sex offenses in advance of Indianapolis hosting next February’s Super Bowl.
Amid all the fanfare and its reputation as a boon to tourism, the Super Bowl has also won some infamy for attracting a sex trade that caters to fans willing to participate in the exploitation of children. From StarTrib.com of Terre Haute, Ind.:
Before the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas … Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, described the party-filled event as “one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States.”
Law enforcement in Miami, site of the 2010 Super Bowl, also had concerns that underage prostitutes were brought in from Central America for tourists in town for the game.
Indiana state Rep. Suzanne Crouch, R-Evansville, sponsored legislation this year directing a study committee to look at whether current state law on child solicitation needs to be expanded. She’s received backing in that effort from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
What’s unusual is that any bill toughening Indiana’s sex-trade laws would have to be passed early in the legislative session, which begins in January. The bill also would have to be written to take effect immediately upon the governor signing it.
Of course, all that’s assuming that the National Football League’s current labor dispute doesn’t continue long enough to cause the Feb. 5 championship game to be cancelled.