Bills end immunity for cops who have sex with prostitutes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Police in Michigan would no longer be legally allowed to have sex with prostitutes during undercover investigations under legislation nearing Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday, and the House passed a related one 91-17. Both chambers had voted for the bills earlier this year.

Michigan is believed to be the last state in the U.S. that gives police immunity from prosecution in such circumstances after Hawaii made a change in 2014.

A sponsor of the legislation has said she does not believe officers are actually taking advantage of the law, but it should still come off the books.



House Bill 4355:

Senate Bill 275:

Men drove for hours ringing escorts while girl, 16, died in backseat, jury hears

Megan Bannister, 16, was discovered on the backseat of a car after the vehicle was involved in a crash near Enderby, Leicestershire, on 14 May. Photograph: Leicestershire police/PA

A 16-year-old girl was left to die on the backseat of a car as two men drove her around while ringing escorts and stopping to buy beer, a court has heard.

Megan Bannister, an A-level student, was found half-covered by a coat, lying in the back of the Vauxhall Astra after the vehicle was involved in a crash near Enderby, Leicestershire, on Sunday 14 May.

Megan, who had a part-time job and wanted to be a midwife, appeared lifeless, with witnesses describing how her “lips were blue”.

However, she had suffered no fatal injuries as a result of the collision, a Birmingham crown court jury was told on Wednesday.

The car’s driver, Jason Burder, and passenger Adam King, both 28, are accused of the girl’s manslaughter by gross negligence by supplying her with MDMA, strangling her and then neglecting her life-threatening condition.

Prosecutors have alleged Burder and King plied the teenager with alcohol and ecstasy in the early hours of that Sunday, hours before the crash.

The crown claimed a Snapchat video, possibly shot in Burder’s bedroom earlier that day and sent to others on social media, showed Megan “out of it” and apparently “fitting”, according to those who watched it.

Jurors were told they would hear from one young girl who had previous dealings with Burder and who, when she saw the footage of Megan, told Burder “you spiked her, like you spiked me”.

Blood tests would reveal that the victim had had “10 times the amount of MDMA” in her system as either of the two men, despite the pair claiming they had taken an equal amount.

The crown said postmortem tests showed Burder’s semen inside and on the victim, as well as “unusually” under King’s fingernails.

A pathologist concluded two potential causes of death were either “strangulation or a drug overdose”, but they were unable to pinpoint the precise mechanism.

Miranda Moore QC, opening the prosecution case, said Burder’s mother spotted her son and King supporting a “drunk” Megan into the car.

Asking her son “Is everything alright?”, he allegedly replied: “Yeah – I’m just taking her home.”

However, the crown’s QC said: “They weren’t. They could have taken her to Leicester Royal Infirmary, they could have phoned 999, or asked Mrs Burder for her help. But they didn’t.”

Jurors were told how phone analysis, ANPR roadside cameras, and shop receipts would show how instead of driving Megan to seek help, the men spent hours driving around – until the crash.

Leaving Megan in the car, the men pulled up at a shop at 8.06am, buying £15.08 of lager and cigarettes.

Moore told the jury the shop’s outside CCTV would show King walking back to the Vauxhall and he “appears to be looking at the backseat of the car”.

From 8.46am, there were “calls to escorts – working girls – and websites”, the prosecutor added, with listings such as “busty, exotic brunette”, and “escort – will blow your mind”.

All that time, until at least 10.16am, the crown alleges Megan was on the car’s backseat.

Moore said: “These two men, we say, were responsible for putting her in that situation, and having done so chose deliberately not to seek help.

“But they were aware enough to drive a car, spend all that time looking for working girls, buy beer, drink beer, and smoke (cigarettes).”

Moore said Burder and King, who were arrested at the crash scene, had “collective amnesia” about what had happened to Megan, although Burder claimed King “spiked” his beer.

The crown’s prosecutor added: “Their behaviour at the scene and complete lack of concern may indicate to you that by the time of the crash they accepted that Megan was already dead – and they still did nothing.”

Burder and King, both from Leicester, deny wrongdoing and the trial continues.

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