Honolulu police might soon be officially banned from having sex with prostitutes. Police are signing off on a new law that makes intercourse off-limits during investigations.
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"Common sense has prevailed. I think logic has become the new norm, if you will," said Sen. Clayton Hee.
Changes could be coming soon to an exemption in a state law that currently allows state police officers to have sex with prostitutes.
"This has been on the books since the early '70s, since the model law was codified, and we see this played out on the streets when assisting our victims," said Kathryn Xian with Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery.
Xian said the organization has been trying to get the law changed for years, and is very happy it's finally going down that path.
"I think the global publicity that Hawaii has gotten (in) regards to this archaic and abusive law allowing police to sleep with prostitutes has really embarrassed the state," said Xian.
Earlier this month, the Honolulu Police Deparment wanted to keep the prostitution law as is, but the department maintains the goal was not to have sex with prostitutes. Instead it was to make sure officers were still able to solicit streetwalkers with a verbal offer as part of an investigation.
After a meeting earlier this week with Sen. Hee, the police department is willing to have actual sex banned.
"The police, I believe, in retrospect wanted to be sure that they understood that this conduct is unbecoming and should not be allowed," said Hee.
HPD said in a statement that it "agrees with the amendment. It will not change the way the department conducts its operations."
"I think this is a positive step to the right direction. A historical step that we needed to take," said Xian.
The bill is headed to the full Senate next.