By ALANNA DURKIN, Associated Press
LANSING (AP) – The Michigan Senate voted Thursday for tougher restrictions on sex between high school employees and students, approving a bill that would make it illegal if students were younger than 21.
While the age of consent in Michigan is 16 in most cases, it is a crime under current law for school employees to have sex with students under the age of 18 because the employee is considered to be in a position of power.
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.
Because some students turn 18 before they graduate from high school, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said there have been multiple allegations of teachers having sexual relations with students once they reach that age.
He said in one case, a teacher in Ionia waited until the day after a female student turned 18, drove the student to a motel room and had sex with her. Jones said the current law has caused an “extreme problem.”
“When parents send their students to high school, they want to know they are safe from someone abusing them,” he said.
The Senate passed a similar bill last session, but it did not make it out of the House. Jones said the bill got tied up at the end of last session due to a flood of bills coming through the legislature, but it will likely be passed by the House this year.
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