Representative Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) today announced the passage of House Bill 108, which provides funding to rape crisis programs in Ohio.

The bill creates the Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund to be funded, in part, with increased sex offender registration fees and criminal fines. In addition, the bill defines what programs are able to receive funding and adds two members to the State Victims Assistance Advisory Council to represent the interests of the mentally ill and victim advocacy organizations.

Part of House Bill 108 authorizes a court to carry out a fine of $50 to $500 paid by an individual convicted of a “sexually oriented” or “child-victim oriented” type of felony offense. A fee of $100 is also required when an individual registers for these same crimes in the Sex Offender Registration and Notification system. The Attorney General will be required to implement rules in regards to the application and distribution of the trust fund money, according to the bill.

“Putting the program in place shows that we care deeply about those who are victims of this kind of attack,” Rep. Romanchuk said. “The bill makes smart changes to better care for victims while adding to the stiff penalties received by those who commit the crimes.”

The bill passed with bipartisan support and will now move to the Senate for consideration.

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