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Ingham County prosecutor arrested, charged with hiring prostitutes

Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-14 11:28:32-04

Photo from Stuart Dennings campaign website

LANSING, Mich. —  A prosecutor who's been the top law enforcer in Michigan's capital for nearly 20 years has been charged in three counties with hiring prostitutes and committing other crimes.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the case against Stuart Dunnings III developed from tips during a federal human-trafficking investigation.

The 63-year-old Dunnings is the elected prosecutor in Ingham County. He was charged Monday with using the services of prostitutes in Ingham, Clinton and Ionia counties.

He allegedly paid for sex hundreds of times with several women, according to a release from Schuette's office. The alleged incidents happened between 2010-2015.

Dunnings is also charged with pandering and willful neglect of duty. He's lodged at the Ingham County jail. There was no immediate comment from his office.

Schuette says he's worked with Dunnings in a professional role and is "saddened" by the charges. Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth says it's a "huge betrayal."

Dunnings' brother, attorney Steven Dunnings, is also facing two counts of engaging the services of prostitution in connection with the investigation.

The two were both charged in connection with a human trafficking investigation involving Tyrone Smith, who pleaded guilty in November 2015 to three counts of sex trafficking.

The Associated Press contributed to this report