Kasich Takes Second Oath As Governor; State Continues Fight Against Human Trafficking

Inauguration week is over here at the Statehouse, after a flurry of swearing-in ceremonies on Sunday and Monday. The festivities began with the inauguration of Attorney General Mike DeWine on Sunday, and then the swearing-in ceremonies for Auditor David Yost, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Treasurer Josh Mandel. But the big event of the day was Gov. John Kasich’s second public inauguration. He had been sworn in at midnight at the Statehouse, but took his oath in front of an audience at the Southern Theatre a few hours later, and delivered an inaugural address with careful staging and big points about embracing and living values.

Two Columbus residents were arrested this week, accused of running massage parlors that were fronts for prostitution. The arrests were announced by Attorney General Mike DeWine and others who are part of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, the day before activists observed Ohio’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Statehouse. Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry worldwide, and the second largest global criminal industry behind the drug trade. The state of Ohio says each year more than a thousand Ohio children become victims of human trafficking – on average, at 13 years old. Democratic Rep. Teresa Fedor of Toledo has been working on the issue for a decade, including the state’s initial human trafficking law and two subsequent crackdowns.

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