ST. JOHNS, MICH. - Longtime Ingham County prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III walked out of the Clinton County Jail early Sunday morning after serving 10 months on prostitution-related charges.
Wearing slacks and a shirt unbuttoned at the collar and carrying some of his belongings in a plastic bag, Dunnings made no comment to the waiting press before being quickly helped into the back seat of a black sports-utility vehicle that quickly drove away. Two men helped him into the vehicle and no one spoke to the press.
Dunnings, 64, was sentenced in November to a felony misconduct in office charge and a misdemeanor charge of engaging in the services of a prostitute. A yearlong investigation by federal, state and Ingham County officials determined he'd paid at least five women for sex over several years and used the power of the prosecutor's office to force a sixth woman, who was not a prostitute, to let him pay her for sex. Investigators were tipped off during a federal investigation into a sex-trafficking ring.
He had faced up to 20 years in prison on a felony pandering charge when he was arrested in March 2016, but received a lesser sentence as part of a plea agreement with the Michigan Attorney General's Office, which prosecuted his case.
He was sentenced to three years' probation, with the first year to be served in jail. He was released about two months early for good behavior. He still must serve more than two years' probation.
Dunnings had been Ingham County's prosecutor since 1997, but resigned shortly after his arrest. His law license was revoked earlier this year, but he is receiving a sizable pension from his nearly two decades with the county.
© 2017, Lansing State Journal