By Zachary Barnes, Emily Elconin and Sakiya Duncan
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporters
A secret rose to the surface after Detective Amber Kenny-Hinojosa was investigating Tyrone Smith for involvement with human trafficking activities. This investigation led to the discovery of a case that involves Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Stuart Dunnings III who is facing 15 charges across three counties, including Ingham County, for allegedly engaging in prostitution. The problem, though, is far more than just of an alleged rogue prosecutor. There were 381 commercialized sex/prostitution offenses reported in 2014 in the state of Michigan according to Michigan Incident Crime Reporting database. In 2013 and 2014, 12 men and 15 women were arrested for such crimes in Lansing.
By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan law may soon come closer to mirroring federal law when dealing with minors engaged in prostitution, but not close enough for some anti-human trafficking advocates. A new House bill would presume that any 16- or 17-year-old working in prostitution was “coerced into child sexually abusive activity” and would be offered assistance to avoid prosecution. The proposal comes as part of a broad, 19-bill initiative to combat human trafficking in Michigan. Other bills in the initiative would create counseling services for trafficking victims, allow trafficking victims to sue their captors for civil damages and more. This bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake, says the proposal would help break the cycle of children caught in the sex trade.