One of the women leading the fight against human trafficking in mid-Michigan says she’s “disgusted” by the arrest of Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III.
Dunnings was arrested Monday and charged with 15 crimes – 10 of them for engaging the services of a prostitute, and one of them for pandering – a felony that could lead to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
The investigation and charges against Dunnings were prompted by an investigation into a separate human trafficking case.
“Human trafficking is a crime that puts people, in this case young women, into situations where their lives are endangered and where they are manipulated and brutalized,” said Attorney General Bill Schuette in an afternoon press conference. “During an investigation into a suspected human trafficking ring, we discovered that one of our own was using the services of women who were being trafficked.”
“I’m totally disgusted,” said Shari Montgomery, a mid-Michigan woman trying to raise money for the House of Promise – which she hopes will serve as a refuge for women who are trafficked.
Montgomery says she sat down with Dunnings two months ago to talk about the problem.
“He talked about how he would prosecute every single one of them,” she said. “It breaks my heart.”
Montgomery says the worst part of Dunnings arrest is the message it sends to women who are trafficked.
“They don’t know who they can trust, and this proves it,” she said. “It turns my stomach.”
And on its Facebook page, the MSU Sexual Assault Program referenced the news, saying “This is tragic news for Ingham County, the community, State of Michigan and all especially those who were and are victims.”