Mich. Cops May Lose 'Right' to Have Sex With Prostitutes

New bill would put an end to the exemption
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2017 6:47 AM CDT

(Newser) – Time may be running out for cops in Michigan to have sex—legally—with prostitutes. It's the only state that still allows undercover police officers to essentially act as johns while on the job, something state Sen. Judy Emmons calls a "dubious distinction" in comments to the Detroit Free Press. A bill Emmons drafted to close that unusual legal loophole seems to have momentum. While Emmons says she doesn't think police are sleeping with prostitutes during investigations—"and they're certainly not trained in it"—the new law would nix "the opportunity." Other states once offered similar immunity to officers, law professor Bridgette Carr tells the Free Press, with Hawaii most recently eliminating its exemption in 2014.

Carr, who works with University of Michigan's Human Trafficking Clinic, doesn't think cops are abusing the law, but has heard of men who are aware of the law impersonating cops and threatening prostitutes, reports Michigan Public Radio. She's been on a crusade to kill the exemption, and this year partnered with state Rep. Gary Glenn to work on a bill that the House has yet to debate. As for Emmons' bill, it was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and will now go before the state Senate. (Hawaii cops unsuccessfully fought to keep their exemption.)

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