Michigan police can have sex with prostitutes under investigation, but bill would stop it

michigan capitol
A soon-to-be-introduced bill would remove part of Michigan law that lets police officers have sex with prostitutes during the course of an investigation. 
Emily Lawler | elawler@mlive.comBy Emily Lawler | elawler@mlive.com 
on March 04, 2017 at 7:50 AM, updated March 04, 2017 at 9:03 AM

LANSING, MI -- Michigan is the only state in the nation where police can still legally sleep with prostitutes in the course of an investigation, says one University of Michigan professor trying to reverse it.

Bridgette Carr is a clinical professor and director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at University of Michigan Law School. This issue hit her radar when Hawaii became the second-to-last state to eliminate this exemption in 2014. The last state to still have it on the books? Michigan.

Carr explained that current law outlined that prostitution was illegal and then created an exemption for law enforcement officers in the course of an investigation.

"No one thought to take the third step and say 'but that immunity doesn't extend all the way to sexual penetration,'" Carr said.

She's given the information to legislators over the past couple years, but it hasn't gotten any traction yet. But now Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, is on board. He plans to introduce legislation to eliminate this provision as early as next week, said his legislative aide Marc Jordan.

Glenn said the bill would protect victims of human trafficking, who are sometimes forced into prostitution.

"I think it is important that Michigan make clear that we are going to protect victims of human trafficking, including from possible abuse by law enforcement," Glenn said.

Carr said that the current law "gives too much power to people who could exploit vulnerable individuals," including human trafficking victims.

Police forces don't seem to be relying on the current law for investigations.

"This is not something our officers do," said Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner when asked whether their officers engage in this behavior during investigations.

Carr and Jordan said law enforcement officials might need to do some things, like exchange money for prostitution, in the course of an investigation. But when it comes to actually having sex during the investigation, "I think they can put forth enough evidence and do the necessary investigations and make the necessary arrests and everything else without going that far," Jordan said.

Another problem, Glenn said, was the possibility that people could be impersonating police officers and using this exemption to intimidate prostitutes or human trafficking victims. Changing this law publicly would give that impersonator less sway.

"To whatever degree it is a problem from people impersonating police officers... our intention is to remove any doubt," Glenn said.

Politically, he said this was in line with the legislature's work tackle the issue of human trafficking. He said he viewed the bill as "a no-brainer," and would be surprised to see any opposition to it crop up in the legislative process.

After introduction, the bill would have to pass the full House, full Senate and be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder to become law.

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/michigan_police_can_hav...

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I have not been in a "good place" to comment lately and have been just reading along.  I keep checking in and reading posts and comments as I appreciate this forum.  

I have checked back today after John notdead Streeter posted this article to see what others would say.  As of this moment, there have been 14 views and no comments.

I may not be the sharpest political or legal tool in the shed.... it is also true that I  currently have some disrespect for certain police officers....yet this is a no brainier for anyone with with any ounce of decency or common sense.  Anyone who would screw a prostitute and claim it was for their job or their duty as part of their job is lower than a pregnant ant.

Why would this even need to be a law that is changed?  What jack ass thought this would ever have been a good law in the first place?  OK...I"ll go back to being silent for awhile.....possibly.....WTF!

I can't help but wait and see how the police union is going to react to this.  And what about the indifference to this issue by our Attorney General Bill Schuette who has made a big issue regarding human trafficking over the last few years, yet can't see the hypocrisy of having an exploitative law like this on the books? 

Yes....that's what I meant to say....ROFL!

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