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Columbus police looking to increase penalty for men buying sex

Columbus Police Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight said the average fine for a man buying sex is $74, but Knight is working to increase the punishment.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A deputy chief with the Columbus Division of Police is working to increase the penalty for "Johns" or a man who pays a prostitute for sex.

Columbus Police Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight is working with the city attorney's office to charge Johns and victims of human trafficking different.

According to Knight, the average John paid a $74 fine between 2017-2018. The penalty does not increase for each arrest.

Knight wants to increase the fine and add mandatory jail time for a second offense.

“If the offender, within the past five years has a conviction, or pled guilty to this, they will have a minimum fine of $550. But more important, a mandatory 10 days in jail. It is really hard to hide that from your family, your employer, your community,” Knight said.

Knight is also recommending a minimum $300 fine for first-time offenders.

Knight says she is meeting with the chair of the city council public safety committee next week about the proposal.