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10/05/2017

Newspaper series led to Ohio Senate bill on child marriage

From The Dayton Daily News

After a Dayton Daily News investigation found more than 4,400 cases of underage teens marrying across the state, Ohio lawmakers are working to prohibit marriage before age 16.

Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, is introducing a bill that would raise the marriage age to 18 for both the bride and groom, allow marriage at age 16 or 17 with judicial and parental consent and prohibit marriages under age 16.

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, said he is working with a bipartisan group in the Ohio House to draft a bill with similar restrictions.

“It could move fairly quickly in the sense of getting a bill out in the next month or so,” he said.

... The Daily News investigation found that between 2000 and 2015, 4,443 girls age 17 or younger were married, including 59 who were 15 or younger. In one case, a Gallia County judge allowed a 14-year-old pregnant girl to marry a 48-year-old man in 2002 — 15 years later, they are still married.

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