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Hawaii Police No Longer Allowed To Have Sex With Prostitutes

Honolulu Police

Hawaiian legislators have agreed to change a law that made it legal for police to have sex with prostitutes:

HONOLULU (AP) — A key Hawaii lawmaker considering an anti-prostitution bill says he and Honolulu police have agreed to get rid of a longtime exemption that allowed officers to have sex with prostitutes.

State Sen. Clayton Hee, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he and police agreed at a meeting Tuesday that the exemption ran contrary to popular opinion.

Honolulu police said during the meeting that they’re OK with making it expressly illegal for officers to have sex with prostitutes, as long as undercover officers can still say they’ll have sex so they can make arrests.

Honolulu police spokeswoman Teresa Bell told The Associated Press that officers have never been allowed to have sex with prostitutes under departmental rules, so making it illegal won’t change how officers operate.

(…)

At a Senate hearing last week, lawmakers and members of the public expressed outrage at the exemption after the AP reported on police officers’ lobbying to keep it unchanged. Hee vowed at the hearing to make the practice illegal.

Hee said the version of the bill that moves through his committee Friday will remove sexual penetration from the police exemption from prostitution laws, leaving police with the ability to solicit sex in the course of an investigation.

“I suppose that in retrospect the police probably feel somewhat embarrassed about this whole situation,” Hee said. “But, thankfully, the issue has been brought to light and the behavior has been addressed.

Of course, one could question whether these types of investigations are a good use of police resources to begin with.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Hawaii Five-0 generally avoided this topic, why?

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  2. john personna says:

    There was a scandal in my town years ago. Some police had a bachelor party, had sex with a hooker, and then arrested her. #notnice

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Hal_10000 says:

    It was nice to see the press finally notice at least one state allowing cops to effectively rape sex workers before arresting them. But if you think is confined to Hawaii, you’re mistaken. Prostitutes have been talking about this sort of thing for many years but no one would listen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. Tillman says:

    But that was the best part of the job!

    Honolulu police spokeswoman Teresa Bell told The Associated Press that officers have never been allowed to have sex with prostitutes under departmental rules, so making it illegal won’t change how officers operate.

    Uh huh. So they lobbied against because they’re grouchy codgers resistant to any change?

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  5. rudderpedals says:

    What a drag. Fortunately they can still do speedballs,

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  6. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    There was a scandal in my town years ago. Some police had a bachelor party, had sex with a hooker, and then arrested her. #notnice

    That officer was demonstrating his skill at pre-emptive inadequacy. I hope that karma eventually took that officer down.

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  7. The Spotsylvania County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office made national news by doing the exact same thing years ago.

    The Sheriff defended their policy by saying that in cases where’s a language barrier (I believe the relevant case involved a “massage parlor”), actual sexual activity was required to get a conviction. He also stated that deputies involved were all bachelors and they used asset forfeiture money to pay for the “services”.

    They changed the policy after the national media attention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Rob in CT says:

    they used asset forfeiture money to pay for the “services”.

    Funny how that doesn’t make it any better, IMO. Oh, don’t you worry, we just used our off-budget slush fund!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. MstrB says:

    It was nice of legislature to allow them to keep the blowjobs and handjobs…

    “The police support the idea that sexual penetration shall not be an exempt permitted behavior by the police in making arrests on prostitutes,” Hee said.

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