Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Crime & Courts

Hawaii undercover: Police reserve the right to legally have sex with prostitutes

See also

Hawaii state law currently has an exemption of prosecution, for undercover police officers who have sex with prostitutes, while investigating prostitution cases.

The rule was on the chopping block according to a March 21, report by Fox News.

Revoking the officer's right to have sex was part of a new bill imposing stronger penalties against persons who pay for sex and persons who employ or coerce sex workers in aiding acts of prostitution. The charge to prostitutes in Hawaii is a slap on the wrist, petty misdemeanor.

Reportedly, "Authorities say they need the legal protection to catch lawbreakers in the act, and strict internal controls prohibit misconduct," said Honolulu Police Maj. Jerry Inouye recently told the House Judiciary Committee.

​H​uman trafficking experts and other police, ​have gone on record ​​saying​ ​that police officers ​​having sex with​ prostitutes, "is​ unnecessary and can further victimize sex workers, many of whom have been forced into the trade.​"​

Expert Derek Marsh says the exemption is "antiquated at best" and that police can easily do their jobs without it.

​In considering the testimony of police officials, Rep. Carl Rhodes, amended his bill with prejudice, to keep the option of sex open to undercover officers.​

Rhodes stated, "I was reluctant to interfere in something that they face all the time. If they think it's necessary to not have it in the statute, this is one area where I did defer to them and say, I hope you're not having sex with prostitutes.​"

​​A proponent of the police exemption, Melissa Farley, Executive Director of the San Francisco-based group Prostitution Research and Education says, "Police abuse is part of the life of prostitution," ​​​places without such police protections ​finds ​"women who have escaped prostitution" commonly report being coerced into giving police sexual favors to keep from being arrested or harassed.

​According to Fox News, numerous cases of police corruption linked to sex workers, are under investigation. In Philadelphia, a former officer is on trial facing charges of raping two prostitutes after forcing them at gunpoint to take narcotics.

A former West Sacramento, Calif., officer is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of raping prostitutes in his police cruiser while on patrol. And last year in Massachusetts, a former police officer pleaded guilty to extorting sex from prostitutes he threatened with arrest. ​

Advertisement