New Bill To Outlaw Undercover Officers Having Sex With Prostitutes

A new bill would outlaw undercover officers having sex with prostitutes during investigations.

 

Under the Michigan law as it is written today, there is a loophole in the criminal statute  governing prostitution. It  allows undercover police officers to have sex with prostitutes as part of their investigations. House Representative Gary Glenn has introduced a bill he hopes will close that loophole and in doing so, protect trafficking victims from being further harmed.

 

It all started with a Time magazine reporter who discovered the loophole in Michigan law, and decided that someone needed to do something about it. They brought the issue to the attention of University of Michigan law professor Bridgette Carr. Carr works for U of M’s Human Trafficking Clinic and she quickly realized the potentially damaging implications of something like this.

 

According to Carr, a loophole in the law like the one in our Michigan criminal law would allow officers to sexually abuse victims of human trafficking without impunity. Whether it’s under age girls and boys tricked into prostitution, homeless women coerced into sexual slavery through addiction, or people enmeshed in the sex trade, victims of trafficking should be protected Carr said. But it was two years before she could get anyone in legislation to do anything about it.

 

Glenn, who crafted the bill, says that he is doing so simply because he thinks the issue should be addressed, not because he believes that it is a serious, ongoing problem. “Whether or not the abuse is widespread is not the point. We don’t want Michigan known as the only state in which law enforcement officers can legally pressure human trafficking victims into having sex without fear of prosecution.”

 

House Rep Peter Lucido agrees, saying that it simply doesn’t look good for Michigan.

 

However, Lucido also doesn’t think the loophole allows for the current, widespread abuse of trafficking victims. He says that up until recently he didn’t even know about the loophole, which means that no law enforcement officer has attempted to use it as a justification in a legal proceeding in many years.

 

However, that does not mean it doesn’t happen. There is currently no data kept by law enforcement agency in the state of Michigan that tracks whether or not their officers make use of this loophole. Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner has gone on the record to say that sex with prostitutes is not a part of MSP investigative process. A spokesperson in the Detroit Police Department has echoed that sentiment.

 

As of now, the bill has been assigned to the House Law and Justice Committee, although a hearing has yet to be scheduled. However, Glenn isn’t concerned. He says he can’t imagine anything other than a unanimous vote of support, followed by the governor’s quick signature.

 

With the exception of the current loophole that is likely to close in the near future, no one in the state of Michigan is allowed to have sex with a prostitute, or pay someone for sexual favors. Prostitution, along with Pandering, is illegal in Michigan. So if you or a loved one have been accused of a sex crime, call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245 to speak with an experienced sex crime defense attorney today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you during times of crisis.

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