POSTED MAR 17, 2016 12:26 PM CDT
A Michigan prosecutor who took a get-tough approach to prostitution is now accused of paying women for sex hundreds of times, including a woman who was seeking his help in a child custody dispute.
Stuart Dunnings III, a Democrat who was the elected prosecutor of Ingham County, faces a felony charge of pandering for allegedly using his position to coerce into sex the woman who sought his help, report the Lansing State Journal, the Washington Post and the Associated Press. He has also been charged with 14 misdemeanors for allegedly hiring prostitutes and failing to report the crimes. A press release is here.
Dunning was elected county prosecutor in 1996, according to the Lansing State Journal. In 2001, he took over prosecutions of prostitution-related crimes in a bid for tougher penalties. He began impounding the cars of prostitution customers, and charged both the customers and prostitutes with felonies for third offenses.
One defense lawyer told the Lansing State Journal he’s reviewing the case of a sex-trafficking client to see if it’s worth a legal challenge. The client pleaded guilty last summer. Another lawyer said defense attorneys have an obligation to revisit the cases of clients who were recently prosecuted for prostitution-related crimes in the county.