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Child enticement law struck down by Ohio Supreme Court

CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- Convicted child predators could go free because of a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court.

It says the child enticement law is too broad and makes even innocent activities illegal.  The law has a good intention behind it, protecting children, but Ohio's Supreme Court says the way it's written is a problem.

Defense Attorney Mark Krumbein said, "Basically this law said you couldn't coerce, entice, coax a child under the age of  14 to do something."
   
The court says the statute's language is too broad and it stops people from doing innocent things that are normally legal.

Krumbein said, "They mention, like, an elderly person might pay a 13-year-old to move some boxes for them.  They don't want to prohibit things of that nature so now there will be continuity."

Legal experts say the way the law is written, citizens don't have a clear idea what behavior is prohibited.  And because people have been convicted under the child enticement law, Krumbein says lawyers will probably try to get some convictions overturned.

The supreme court is saying, "No, this law is not valid," so cases that are pending or on appeal, those cases will likely be thrown out.  Unless they had other components to them. 

It's now up to state lawmakers to fix the wording and craft a new law that's constitutional.  In the mean time, there are other statutes on the books to protect kids.

"You know, you still cannot harm a child.  You still can't solicit sex over the internet or in any other form.  There are many, many statutes that protect children in Ohio, but this one was overly broad and the supreme court said that's too far, they've gone too far," Krumbein said.

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