The Dark Side of the Super Bowl

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell
By Megan Trent

February 2, 2012 Updated Feb 2, 2012 at 8:15 PM EDT

UPDATE: INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Being host city to the Super Bowl has plenty of perks, but it also has a dark side. Each year, organized crime groups bring children to the Super Bowl's host city with one very sinister goal - prostitution.

Catering to out of town guests, hotels have historically been hot spots for child trafficking and underage prostitution. However, on Monday Governor Daniels signed into law a new measure that sends the message, "Don't try it here."

The law closes loopholes in current legislation and increases the penalties for would-be child traffickers. People who bring children under the age of 16 into Indiana with intentions of prostitution will now face a Class B Felony and up to 20 years in prison. People who sell or transfer custody of underage children for prostitution will face a Class B Felony and 20 to 50 years in prison.

Rep. Greg Steurerwald, the bill's House sponsor, says, "Hopefully it's a deterrent and hopefully we won't even have to use this bill. We want to make sure everybody understands that we have Hoosier hospitality, and if you come here we want you to enjoy the city and the state. But if you are coming here for illegal purposes, we want you to understand there are going to be severe consequences."

Local hotels are also taking part in SOAP, or Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution. Bars of soap with the phone number of the National Human Trafficking Hotline written on the wrapper are being placed in guest rooms.

Advocacy groups and the Department of Homeland Security are also continuing to warn people - if you see something, say something.

INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – By a unanimous 93- 0 the Indiana General Assembly sent a bill to Governor Mitch Daniels’ Desk, strengthening Indiana’s laws against human trafficking.

Senate Bill 4 is part of a nationwide effort to crack down on trafficking through legislation, public awareness and deterring demand.

This is the first bill of the session and is an important step for Indiana as the state capital will soon play host to Super Bowl 46.

The bill would more effectively define the crime of “promotion of human trafficking of a minor” so that prosecutors could bring charges against traffickers even if no force was used, and for situations involving prostitution and involuntary servitude by minors.

It also broadens the penalty for certain types of human trafficking so the potential sentence is increased from a Class B felony (punishable by six to 20 years) up to a Class A felony (punishable by 20 to 50 years in prison).

The bill takes effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature.

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