An Update on Michigan’s Fastest Growing Sex Crime – Trafficking

Human trafficking has exploded in Michigan, but the state is fighting back.


Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice defines human trafficking as “a form of modern day slavery” which occurs all around world. From the greatest cities to the tiniest rural villages, there’s no place on earth the is unaffected. But Michigan, in particular, is impacted by this crime to a degree that most people living here don’t even realize. In fact, Michigan is one of the top five states for trafficking in the US today.


Why does Michigan have such high rates of trafficking?


Part of what makes Michigan particularly vulnerable to this crime is its location. Unlike many other states in the US, we have international ports, international borders, and easy access to the interior of the country. These numerous entry and exit points make it easy for traffickers to get victims into and out of the country quickly and quietly.


What is the difference between sex trafficking and human trafficking?


This can seem confusing. You hear about ‘human trafficking’ and ‘sex trafficking’ and ‘labor trafficking’, but often there’s no clear explanation about what they are. Or how they differ from each other. So here is a quick break down of the difference:


    • Human Trafficking: The practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.
    • Sex Trafficking: Illegally transporting people for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation


  • Labor Trafficking: Illegally transporting people for the purposes of forced labor



Is sex trafficking illegal in Michigan?


Yes it is! In 2013,  Attorney General Bill Schuette formed the first ever Michigan Human Trafficking Commission, tasked with assessing the particular threat that human trafficking poses to residents of Michigan, and then developing policy recommendations that would lead to future prevention and exposure. Since then Michigan has passed many laws aimed at prosecuting all forms of human trafficking, and protecting victims. The federal government also aggressively prosecutes these crimes.


Is prostitution a form of sex trafficking?


Technically, prostitution is only a form of sex trafficking if the sex worker was forced to have sex with others against her will, and prevented from leaving. A person who engages in sex work for pay of their own accord in Michigan, can be charged with the crime of Prostitution. Under Michigan law, prostitution is a misdemeanor, at least for the first and second offenses. However, if the person being prostituted was being forced, or held against their will, they’re considered to be a victim of trafficking, and will not be charged.


What is the punishment for sex trafficking in Michigan?


Anyone ‘pimping’ someone else out for sex, which is called Pandering in Michigan, or Sharing in the earnings of a prostitute, will face very serious charges. However, anyone caught trafficking another person is facing up to 10 years to life in prison, and fines ranging between $10,000 and $50,000, depending upon the circumstances of the crime. If the trafficking involves a sex crime, the penalties will likely be enhanced.


What should you do if you’re accused of sex trafficking in Michigan?


First and foremost – don’t say anything to anyone! Don’t answer any questions or try to explain anything to the police. Just call your experienced sex crime defense attorney and then wait quietly. As soon as we arrive, you’ll have a chance to explain everything and we can get to work on your defense.


At The Kronzek Firm, our highly skilled and experienced sex crime defense attorneys have been aggressively defending the people of Michigan charged with sex crimes. We have earned remarkable results, over and over, for our clients, and have helped protect many people from jail or lengthy prison sentences. We are available 24/7 at 866 766 52345 (866 7No Jail) to help you. Call us night or day to discuss your case, and get started right now on defending your future!


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