(WRC) — In Michigan there is currently an active law that gives police immunity from prosecution if they’ve had sex with prostitutes during an investigation.
According to Michigan Public Radio, there is no other state which still grants that immunity. A professor and director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law Schoo, Bridgette Carr, wants that to change. She is working with Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, to draft a bill that gets rid of the law.
Carr first became aware of the exemption when Hawaii was phasing out their own exemption.
“A number of folks in the human trafficking community were upset that Michigan retained the exemption,” she said.
Yeah, the community was probably upset because the exemption potentially allows police to have sex with human trafficking victims without facing punishment.
“The reason the law is structured the way it is is because of the way the prostitution laws are written,” Carr said. “So for law enforcement to have any power to investigate with immunity, they got all the power. And no one thought to go back and carve out a prohibition against sexual intercourse.”
According to Carr, some officers know about the exemption while others do not, but none of the officers she talked to admit they take advantage of the exemption to have sex with prostitutes or human trafficking victims.
In fact, many police officers wonder why it’d even be worthwhile to change the law at all.
“What I do know from my own clients is that people who either say they are cops, who are cops or who are impersonating cops, know about this exemption and threaten my clients with it sometimes,” she said. “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.”
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