Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Report Shows Sex trafficking in Ohio Reaches Over 1,000 Youth Last Year

The Columbus Dispatch:New report documents extent of scourge in state

Sex traffickers ensnared more than 1,000 youths in Ohio last year
New report documents extent of scourge in state
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:00 PM
By Alan Johnson
Read the report

* Click here for the full text of today's report on human trafficking (PDF).

More than 1,000 youngsters under the age of 18 were sex-trafficking victims in Ohio during the past year, according to the first-ever statewide report on the subject by the Ohio Trafficking in Persons Study Commission.

A preliminary report released this afternoon by Attorney General Richard Cordray concluded that another 2,879 youth were at risk of being trafficked.

An additional 783 foreign-born persons were trafficked for sex or forced labor in Ohio in the past year, with another 3,437 at risk, the report said.

At the same time, the research subcommittee that prepared the report acknowledged that human trafficking is a largely invisible crime, making it "virtually impossible to determine the exact number of victims in Ohio at any given time and with any degree of certainty."

California Man Arrested in Mall By Guard for Having Conversation About God

Man Sues California Mall After Guard Arrests Him for Having Conversation About God - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
By Diane Macedo

Justin Smith

Westfield Galleria shopping mall in Roseville, CA.

Imagine getting arrested for just striking up a conversation about religion in public.

That’s what happened to California resident Matthew Snatchko in 2006 when the youth pastor initiated a conversation about God with three shoppers at the Roseville Galleria mall.

The women gave Snatchko permission to broach the subject, but a nearby store employee said they "looked nervous," so he ordered the evangelist to leave. After Snatchko refused, mall security arrested him.

"He was put in handcuffs and hauled down to the mall’s security station and later booked at the local jail," said Snatchko’s attorney Matthew McReynolds of the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom.

Snatchko was later released and never charged with a crime, but he and the Justice Institute decided to challenge the constitutionality of Roseville Galleria's restrictions on conversations about topics such as religion and politics.

"He wanted to make sure that neither he nor anybody else got harassed again at this mall or the 55 other malls this company owns throughout the United States," said McReynolds.

Pro-Life Teen BANNED From Receiving Honor by Ohio House Speaker

 LifeSiteNews original article
COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 9, 2010 ( - In what critics are calling an unprecedented act of bias, pro-abortion Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beechwood) has denied Shelby County teen Elisabeth Trisler a routine legislative honor, evidently because he objects to Trisler's pro-life values. Budish is refusing to allow Trisler on the House floor to accept a legislative resolution, authored by Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney), which honors Trisler's accomplishment as the National Right to Life Oratory Contest winner. 
Alongside local pro-life leaders, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio has criticized the move, indicating the refusal amounted to "teaching young people that the answer is to silence those who disagree with us."
Honorary resolutions such as the one given to Trisler are routinely presented at the start of Ohio House legislative sessions to constituents, including those who win athletic championships or academic contests.  In this case, however, Trisler will receive the resolution in the mail, according to Ohio Right to Life.
"Surely Speaker Budish can put aside his partisanship for 10 minutes to honor the accomplishments of a talented and optimistic teenage girl," said Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Mike Gonidakis.  "Perhaps his real message to Ohio's teens is that excelling in public speaking isn't worth being honored if their views are different than his." 
State Rep. John Adams called the Speaker's denial "an outrage."
Trisler won the National Right to Life Oratory Contest held at the NRLC Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in June, 2009. During the second half of 2009, Rep. Adams's office worked to schedule the presentation of Trisler's proclamation on the House floor, as is typical of such awards. The presentation was scheduled for Wednesday, February 3, 2010.
However, on January 29th, the House Clerk informed Rep. Adams's office the presentation would not take place because the Speaker "had a problem with the subject matter." The clerk advised the representative's staff to take the matter up with the Speaker. Speaker Budish supports abortion.
"The Ohio House chamber is a monument to the importance of oratory and persuasion on the great issues facing our state," said Gonidakis. "Silencing someone because you disagree is a terrible lesson to teach teens. The Speaker should reconsider his unfortunately petty decision."
ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link also criticized the move, which she says created a "troubling precedent."
"Instead of teaching young people that the answer is to silence those who disagree with us, legislators should be modeling how to address difficult issues thoughtfully and listen respectfully to others," said Link.
"Ohio has a diverse political and social landscape that includes a broad spectrum of views that may be controversial to some," she continued.  "If we limit whose achievements may be honored, we are only contributing to the notion that these issues are divisive and cannot reasonably be discussed."
Keary McCarthy, the communications director at Speaker Budish's office, said that the Speaker's decision was consistent with precedent that such a presentation should not be used as a platform for a specific political agenda.
"The Speaker believes it's important to avoid having political interests on either side of the aisle abuse this brief opportunity for celebration and recognition," McCarthy told
However, he said, "the Speaker will gladly reconsider the request of Representative Adams if appropriate discretion is used in a way that does not contradict the history of the House" for not using the reception as a forum for advocacy.

Contact information:
Armond Budish
Speaker of the House, Ohio House of Representatives
77 S. High St
14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-5441
Fax: (614) 719-0008