HONOLULU, March 23, 2014– Hawaii police are urging state legislators to maintain a law that allows undercover police to have sex with prostitutes during investigations.
According to the Associated Press, the move by police officials has sparked a fierce debate.
Police officials claim they need to be exempt from prostitution laws so that they may catch criminals in the act by having sex with prostitutes themselves.
Police will not say how often, or even if, they have used the provisions allowing them to have sex with prostitutes. They assured legislators that internal policies were in place to prevent officers from “abusing the power”.
Expert Derek Marsh says the exemption is “antiquated at best” and that police can easily do their jobs without it.
“It doesn’t help your case, and at worst you further traumatize someone. And do you think he or she is going to trust a cop again?” asked Marsh, who trains California police in best practices on human trafficking cases and twice has testified before Congress on the issue.
The Hawaii bill cracking down on prostitution was originally written end the sex exemption for officers on duty, but was amended to restore that protection after police provided testimony. The amended bill has passed the state House and went before a state Senate committee Friday.
Hawaii’s law allowing police to have sex with prostitutes is simply another illustration of how police officers are placed above the law.