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Police exemption to prostitution law dropped by Senate panel

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 05:50 p.m. HST, Mar 28, 2014

A Hawaii Senate committee advanced a potential state law on Friday that removes an exemption giving police officers the latitude to have sex with prostitutes during their investigations.

House Bill1926 Senate Draft 1 is designed to protect child victims of prostitution, to go after their customers, and to limit the conduct of the Honolulu Police Department, said Sen. Clayton Hee, chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor.

"It's very interesting ... the public's fascination with limiting the conduct of HPD with respect to sexual penetration (of prostitutes). It' s clear that they find this unacceptable," Hee said. 

On Tuesday, HPD reversed its earlier objection to a potential change in state law that would have made it illegal for officers to have sex with prostitutes following a closed-door meeting with Hee. Their earlier request for a continuation of the exemption, which was supported by the city prosecutor's office, generated worldwide attention.

"I think it even made the 'Colbert Report.' It has been a source of entertainment for the entire nation," Hee said. "I believe there's no question that we are now in step with common sense and appropriate behavior by law enforcement." 

While Hee said this latest bill would be subject to conference, he believes that it has a strong chance of advancing.

Kathryn Xian, executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, praised Hee and other legislators who supported the removal of the police exemption in the bill, which also provides safe harbor for child victims of prostitution and toughens penalties for prostitution customers. 

"This was a pattern of improper behavior that had been legal and institutionalized," said Xian, who is a candidate for Congress. "The bill really addresses the issue of abuse of power. There's always been a need to have a more democratic process with checks and balances." 

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lee1957 wrote:
Looks like HPD will have to pay like everbody else.
on March 28,2014 | 11:40AM
kainalu wrote:
...drum roll and cymbals clash!
on March 28,2014 | 06:46PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
There goes a good part of HPD's benefit package. What, no union uproar?
on March 28,2014 | 11:55AM
control wrote:
Yeah, where is Teneri on this one? I thought this is one of the perks that HPD gets.
on March 28,2014 | 12:15PM
sjean wrote:
Blood filled rant against same-sex marriage. Limp response to this one...
on March 28,2014 | 01:04PM
rnamiki wrote:
Bummers,whores for nothing and sex for free.
on March 28,2014 | 12:01PM
jayz43 wrote:
Hee said. "I believe there's no question that we are now in step with common sense and appropriate behavior by law enforcement." REALLY?! How, pray tell, did "we" get out-of-step?! Is it any wonder why we are the butt of jokes on national tv?
on March 28,2014 | 12:26PM
jayz43 wrote:
"Comment sent for approval" LOL!
on March 28,2014 | 12:27PM
Hank13 wrote:
Mine too. Political references Star Ad censors for political reasons.
on March 29,2014 | 03:48AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
"It's very interesting ... the public's fascination with limiting the conduct of HPD with respect to sexual penetration (of prostitutes). It' s clear that they find this unacceptable," Hee said. "

I find it interesting that YOU seem to think it's acceptable, Mr Hee.

And this member of the public isn't "fascinated" by it, and as soon as you guys pass the bill, the rest of us will try to forget about this embarrassing and sad chapter in HPD history.

on March 28,2014 | 01:29PM
cojef wrote:
Some national media picked-up the story-line, but with little fan-fare. Not like the local scene, how many days now?
on March 28,2014 | 02:50PM
st1d wrote:
hee finds the strangest things interesting. hee once was fascinated about a governor's appointee's genitals, saying that hee thought the appointee was a late cut gelding.

got to wonder why hee is so interested in sex.

on March 28,2014 | 04:37PM
WesleyC wrote:
Will HPD ever learn? One thing to keep vice budget up with enforcement against prostitution. Another thing to cozy up to uncompromising, fanatical, militant ideologues like Xian and her friends in the media like Schaefers. Kaneshiro, HPD, please think twice before you play with fire.
on March 28,2014 | 03:53PM
amela wrote:
Did anyone find out if women officers had sex with their male customers? Layoff Hee he has a lot of his own problems.
on March 28,2014 | 03:53PM
hikine wrote:
For women hoes to women officers, at least no penetration will occur unless strap ons are used!
on March 28,2014 | 07:38PM
titasmom wrote:
How embarrassing for the world to know about the crazy laws we have in Hawaii.
on March 28,2014 | 04:27PM
Anonymous wrote:
Is it just me or does the headline not match the story?
on March 28,2014 | 04:44PM
lokela wrote:
No brainer here.
on March 28,2014 | 05:12PM
hikine wrote:
I don't get the whole thing. So penetration is a no-no but what about other types of sexual acts such as groping and things liddat?
on March 28,2014 | 07:40PM
localguy wrote:
Our elected bureaucrats could not stand the competition from HPD. Now they can have it all to themselves.
on March 28,2014 | 09:58PM
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