Police in Michigan would no longer be allowed to have sex with prostitutes as part of their professional duties if a bill making its way through the state legislature becomes law.
Michigan is the only state that allows police officers to buy sex as part of their investigation.
Sen. Judy Emmons, a Republican, introduced Senate Bill 275, which would “amend the Michigan Penal Code to remove the immunity from prosecution of a law enforcement officer for various prostitution-related offenses if the officer engaged in sexual penetration while in the course of his or her duties.”
“It eliminates the opportunity for those in undercover law enforcement to engage in sexual intercourse with someone they’re investigating,” Emmons told the Detroit Free Press.
Emmons has made human trafficking one of her priorities in the legislature. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now faces the full Senate in Michigan.
Bridgette Carr, director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, helped draft the bill with Rep. Gary Glenn.
“It’s not rampant, but it happens. And I think it says something about us as a community that we would allow this type of exemption for law enforcement, whether it’s used very often or not,” Carr told Michigan Radio.
In 2014, Hawaii ended the provision in its state, which had existed since the 1970s, despite initial objections from police, who wanted to keep the exemption.
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