Representatives propose tougher changes to state's child enticement law

State representatives want to strengthen child enticement laws after sex offender Jonathan Ringel was accused of enticing children, but charges were dropped because of a lack of criminal intent. (WSYX/WTTE)

State representatives filed a bill to toughen Ohio's child enticement laws but now fear the opposition to their plans.

Representative Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) drafted the new law with the help of the Attorney General's Office and Franklin County Prosecutor's Office. He filed it Thursday after police say sex offender Jonathan Ringel enticed children in his area this summer. However, the charges of child enticement were dropped in the Worthington cases due to a lack of criminal intent.

Ringel was later charged out of other enticement cases in Columbus where police say he was also committing a lewd act.

"Police could witness the entire thing, videotape the entire thing," Rep. Duffey said. "If he does not commit a lewd act or confess what he wanted to do was something illegal, then he cannot be charged with a crime."

Rep. Duffey said it should be a crime if a sex offender entices a child, if the suspect has no relationship to the child or if the suspect entices a series of children in a row. His changes would not require criminal initent.

Those opposed to the bill said it conflicts with constitutional rights.

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