Honolulu police officers want to maintain a legal exemption allowing them to have sex with prostitutes without breaking the law.
The cops claim hooking up with hookers in “undercover” work may be necessary in crime investigations.
Perhaps giving a new meaning to “lei,” a law is pending in the Hawaii legislature that will keep the exemption in place for officers who are or claim to be acting in the course or scope of their duties.
From a regulatory viewpoint, evidently they want to have legally safe sex, but only if or when it is actually necessary.
A bill in the state legislature that increases prostitution penalties for Johns and pimps initially eliminated the legal permission for cops to get busy with hookers on duty. The sex exemption was put back in the legislation, however, after law enforcement officials came forward and testified in favor of the provision. The measure containing the hooker exemption for cops has already passed the state House and is on the way to the state senate for consideration.
The exemption is obviously controversial but apparently state lawmakers are on board. “Authorities say they need the legal protection to catch lawbreakers in the act. Critics, including human trafficking experts and other police, say it’s unnecessary and can further victimize sex workers, many of whom have been forced into the trade. Police haven’t said how often — or even if — they use the provision. But when they asked legislators to preserve it, they made assurances that internal policies and procedures are in place to prevent officers from taking advantage of it.”
Police misconduct investigations are apparently confidential in the state of Hawaii, so it’s unknown if any cop has been disciplined for violating the parameters involved with sexual encounters with prostitutes.
Do you think Honolulu cops should get the legal go-ahead to sleep with hookers during investigations?
[image credit: Cristo Vlahos]