Monday 20 November 2017

Police in a US state can have sex with prostitutes during investigations - new bill proposes to ban this

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Samuel Osborne

A US state which is reportedly the only state giving police immunity from prosecution if they have sex with prostitutes during an investigation is now seeking to draft a bill to get rid of the law.

Bridgette Carr, a director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, is now working to get rid of the exemption in Michigan.

Ms Carr told Michigan Radio she became aware of the exemption a couple of years ago when Hawaii was "phasing out their exemption".

"And a number of folks in the human trafficking community were upset that Michigan retained the exemption," she told the station.

The exemption potentially allows police officers 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," she 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."

Ms Carr said none of the officers she spoke to said they take advantage of the prosecution.

She added: "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.

"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."

Independent News Service

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