With the multiple attacks these last few months in Cincinnati, the State of Ohio has responded by introducing a bill that would allow prosecutors to increase the penalty for an attack or intimidation of people based on their lack of housing should the attacker be convicted. This is similar to the hate crimes laws in Ohio, and we hope will provide some deterrent to future attacks on those resistant to shelter. This is an extremely vulnerable population that lives without a door or a lock or the security that the rest of the population enjoy. And to have skinheads and young people go out hunting for homeless people justifies the state coming down with tough punishments on these individuals.
Representatives Murray, Foley
Cosponsors: Representatives Sears, Pillich, Hagan, Walter, Harris, Heard, Williams, B., Domenick, Skindell, Winburn, Fende, Gerberry, Harwood
To enact section 2927.121 of the Revised Code to create the offense of intimidation of a homeless person.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF
Section 1. That section 2927.121 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 2927.121. (A) As used in this section, "homeless person" means either of the following:
(1) An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence;
(2) An individual who has a primary nighttime residence that meets any of the following criteria:
(a) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations;
(b) An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized;
(c) A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(B) No person shall violate section 2903.04, 2903.041, 2903.05, 2903.11, 2903.12, 2903.13, 2903.14, 2903.21, 2903.211, 2903.22, 2903.31, 2905.01, 2905.02, 2905.03, 2905.11, 2905.12, 2907.01, 2907.03, 2907.05, 2907.06, 2909.01, 2909.02, 2909.03, 2909.05, 2909.06, 2909.07, 2911.02, 2913.01, 2913.02, or 2917.01 of the Revised Code if the offender commits the violation with the intent to cause harm to any victim of the violation because that victim is a homeless person.
(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of intimidation of a homeless person. Intimidation of a homeless person is an offense of the next higher degree than the offense the commission of which is a necessary element of intimidation of a homeless person.
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