Ingham County Prosecutor Arrested for Pandering and Hiring Prostitutes
Arresting people for acquiring the services of a prostitute, or pandering, is all in a day’s work for most police officers. After all, it’s part of their job. But nothing complicates that job faster than when the person you’re arresting is a fellow officer of the court. Which is exactly what is happening right now in Ingham, Ionia and Clinton Counties.
Stuart Dunnings III, who has been the Prosecuting Attorney in Ingham County for almost two decades and also served as the president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, has been arrested for hiring prostitutes. In the words of Attorney General Bill Schuette, Stuart Dunnings III is accused of paying for sex with women “hundreds of times” over a period of five years.
According to court documents, Mr. Dunnings III is facing fifteen different charges in three different counties. Ten of those charges are for engaging the services of a prostitute, which are misdemeanors. Of the remaining charges, four are for willful neglect of duty, and one is for pandering. This is by far the most serious charge as it is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Under Michigan law, Pandering, which is also known as “pimping”, refers to a person “enticing another person to become a prostitute.” This charge was brought in the Ingham County District Court.
All of the charges are allegedly the result of an extensive federal investigation into a Michigan-based human trafficking ring. One of the men arrested as a result of this investigation is Tyrone Smith, who is alleged to have been the leader.
In November of 2015, Smith appeared in a federal court and pled guilty to three counts of trafficking girls and women for sex. He also admitted to transporting them across state lines for paid sexual encounters with others. It is from this investigation that the allegations against Stuart Dunnings originate.
Due to Dunnings’ long involvement with the legal community in Ingham County where he has practiced law for decades, all of the Ingham County Judges have recused themselves from the case. As a result, all of Dunnings’ court appearances will be overseen by Judges from other counties. For example, one of the arraignments will take place in the Jackson County District Court before Judge Michael Klaeren.