Legislators vote to end police prostitution loophole


HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers passed a bill that will end an unusual exemption in state law that allowed police to have sex with prostitutes. Police still may solicit sex in the course of their investigations. But the measure (HB 1926) now makes sexual penetration and sadomasochistic abuse by police officers a crime.

Members of the House and the Senate passed the bill unanimously Tuesday.

Earlier in the session, Honolulu police lobbied successfully to keep the exemption. The House amended the bill after police testimony, keeping the exemption. Media coverage called attention to the change.

A Senate committee responded with another amendment that removed the exemption.

Honolulu police dropped their opposition to the change. The police insist their officers do not have sex with prostitutes and would be disciplined if they did.

 

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