Washtenaw County Prosecutor won't pursue charges for consensual sex work

Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit
Posted at 9:17 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 18:22:37-05

(WXYZ) — Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit said his office will not pursue criminal charges related solely to consensual sex work.

Related: New Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit talks about new policies he's putting into place

According to Savit, the office will pursue sex work-adjacent crime, including human trafficking, sexual and physical assault, and offenses involving children.

Savit cited data that shows criminalizing of sex work actually increases the risk of sex-work harm.

“Today’s policy directive is, fundamentally, about reducing sex workers’ vulnerability and exploitation,” Savit said in a release. “When sex workers fear prosecution, they are less likely to report serious crime—crime like human trafficking, sexual assault, and physical assault.”

Under the policy, the office will not file criminal charges based solely on consensual exchange between adults of sex for money.

They will however pursue charges where violence or sexual assault occurs, and file charges against human traffickers and those who purchase sex or try to purchase sex from minors.

This is the latest of a variety of changes Savit has made since taking office on Jan. 1.

He has also eliminated cash bail to erase racial and socio-economic inequities, and changed policies regarding interactions between police officers and civilians.