The Dunnings Case: How it happened, What happens next


INGHAM COUNTY, MI (WLNS) – It started with an investigation into someone else.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says there was a federal investigation into a human trafficking ring last year involving a man named Tyrone Smith.

Schuette says witnesses involved in the Smith case gave them information that led them to Dunnings.

The accusations against Dunnings date all the way back to 2010 and run through 2015. The attorney general says Dunnings reached out to women through escort websites and paid for sex “hundreds of times” with women in three different counties.

Those turned into 15 charges;

  • 10 counts of engaging the services of a prostitute. That’s a misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine for each count.
  • 4 counts of “willful neglect of duty” because he didn’t report violations of the law, which Schuette says he’s supposed to do as a prosecutor. That’s also a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • 1 count of prostitution/pandering – because Schuette says Dunning encouraged a woman who hadn’t been a prostitute before to take money for sex. That’s a felony, and if convicted, Dunnings could face 20 years in a Michigan prison.

Besides some procedural hearings, the next step is for Dunnings to hear some of the evidence against him in a preliminary examination. At that time, a judge will decide whether there’s enough evidence against Dunnings to continue with a trial.

Dunnings’ brother Steven also faces two charges of engaging the services of prostitution.

The Attorney General says Tyrone Smith pleaded guilty to three counts of sex trafficking. One of those cases involves a minor. He has yet to be sentenced.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan