Legislation also protects human trafficking victims from coercion
Lansing, Mich. -- The state Senate today unanimously approved legislation from state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., to make it illegal for law enforcement officials to engage in sexual acts with prostitutes or victims of human trafficking during the course of an investigation.
“Michigan is the last state to eliminate this unintended exemption. While there is no evidence that law enforcement officers are engaged in such activity, human trafficking experts testify that men who impersonate police officers have used this exemption from prosecution to intimidate women into having sex,” said Glenn. “This legislation will help protect victims of human trafficking from being further abused, and remove an unfair and unwarranted cloud over our law enforcement officers who faithfully perform their duty with integrity.”
The legislation was introduced at the request of attorney Bridgette Carr, director of the University of Michigan Human Trafficking Clinic, to reinforce Michigan’s commitment to protect victims of human trafficking who are frequently forced into prostitution.
“Michigan will no longer have the stigma of being the last state in the country that unintentionally exempts police officers who have sex with prostitutes during an investigation from prosecution," Glenn said. “This common sense legislation has received significant bipartisan support because it protects our law enforcement and victims of sex-based crimes.”
House Bill 4355, which was previously approved by a 93-14 vote in the state House, now moves to the governor for his consideration. Glenn was joined on the legislation by sixteen cosponsors, all female, including both Democrats and Republicans.