A legislative study committee is opting for the status quo on penalties for child sex trafficking.
Legislators considered a bill draft which would have increased potential sentences for possession of child porn, child exploitation, and patronizing or pimping for a child prostitute. The change would have increased maximum sentences by anywhere from a year-and-a-half to six years.
Allen County chief deputy prosecutor Mike McAlexander referred indirectly to the Jared Fogle case, noting many people felt the federal penalties facing the former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle are too lenient.
But a painstaking line-by-line overhaul of Indiana sentencing laws took effect just last year, and legislators agreed it should have a chance to work.
Hendricks Superior Judge Bob Freese notes the sentencing rewrite so far appears to be achieving one of its goals of reducing the number of nonviolent offenders herded off to jail. And Freese and other committee members note the recodification was intended to make sentencing for different offenses more proportionate to their severity — they say singling out a handful of offenses without fuller data could throw off that balance.
The panel didn’t vote on the proposal. Legislators could still pursue changes on their own in the upcoming session.