LANSING (WWJ) – A law on the books in Michigan gives police immunity from prosecution when they have sex with prostitutes on the job.
A newly introduced bill wants to ban that statute.
Michigan is believed to be one of the only states which allows police to have sex with prostitutes during investigations — raising concerns among folks battling human trafficking — that officers could have sex with victims of human trafficking with immunity.
Bridgette Carr, a director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, is now working with Representative Gary Glenn to draft a bill to get rid of the law reports Michigan Radio.
Carr told Michigan Radio she became aware of the exemption a couple of years ago when Hawaii was “phasing out their exemption.”
Michigan has one of the highest rates of human trafficking according to the Human Trafficking Hotline.
More than a dozen people were arrested throughout metro Detroit in January in a sex trafficking sting during the North American International Auto Show.
The FBI and local police from about a dozen agencies were targeting human traffickers during the show, a time that officials say they find a 150 percent increase in individuals posting online solicitation messages on escort-type websites.
FBI Detroit spokesman Tim Wiley told WWJ’s Zahra Huber that 16 people were arrested, four pimps were identified and two children were recovered.
“There was a large influx of people coming into our area and so with that, we do see a trend of increased human trafficking that takes place,” Wiley said.