LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Attorney General's Office says the charges against Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings grew out of a federal investigation into a human trafficking ring based out of Michigan in 2015.
Dunnings is facing a total of 15 criminal charges in Ingham, Clinton and Ionia counties. Those charges include 10 counts of prostitution, pandering and 4 counts of willful neglect of duty.
Investigators say Dunnings paid for sex hundreds of times with multiple women between 2010 and 2015. Contact with these women allegedly took place via escort websites. The Attorney General's office says evidence also showed Dunnings allegedly induced a woman to become a prostitute, resulting in the pandering charge-- which is a 20-year felony.
The investigation started last year, when federal charges were filed against Tyrone Smith, the ring leader of a human trafficking ring. Smith pleaded guilty and is currently awaiting sentencing on three counts of sex trafficking young girls and women, including one minor. Based on information from witnesses in the case against Smith, investigators started investigating Dunnings.
Dunnings has served as Ingham County Prosecutor since 1997 and has been an outspoken advocate for ending human trafficking and prostitution.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Lisa McCormick of the Ingham County Prosecutor's office released a statement following the announcement of the charges:
"The Ingham County Prosecutor's office has received numerous press inquiries concerning the allegations against Mr. Dunnings. Our office does not have any comment on the charges against Mr. Dunnings. The day to day business of the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office continues to be performed by the attorneys and staff. I am not going to speak on behalf of Mr. Dunnings. Any questions about the case should be addressed by the Attorney General or Mr. Dunnings attorney.
Dunnings brother, Lansing attorney Steven Dunnings, was also charged with two counts of prostitution.
Stay with News 10 and wilx.com as we work to learn more about today's announcement.