LANSING, MI (WLNS) – A day after officials announced the several charges for crimes Stuart Dunnings III allegedly committed, many people who worked with Dunnings are reflecting on how claims of paying for prostitutes and turning a blind eye to similar crimes, will affect the prominent role he’s played in the capital city for nearly 20 years.
Well it was disheartening, sad, betrayal, all those emotions go through you,” Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth said. “And many other people that knew Stuart, we worked closely with him on a lot of investigations; he always did yeoman’s work.”
After hearing about the serious allegations against Dunnings, Sheriff Wriggelsworth describing how blindsided many are by the accusations being hurled at Ingham County’s top law-enforcer.
“He had a particular care for children, and he made sure that when we had those kinds of cases that they were prosecuted properly and we appreciated that,” Wriggelsworth said.
In one case back on October 3, 2014, Dunnings stood side by side with a United States attorney, Ingham County Sheriff’s officials, and the Lansing Police Department, as they released details about three people accused of running a sex trafficking ring right here in Lansing.
This is what Dunnings had to say about it.
“Because of the nature of human trafficking, it also involves many jurisdictions, sometimes crossing state lines and without the help of our federal partners and federal investigation, the alcohol tobacco and firearm, ICE and other, we would not be able to bring cases like this to justice,” Dunnings said.
Many find it ironic, that Dunnings would make a statement like that, all while court documents released Monday, reveal he was allegedly engaging in criminal acts himself during that same time frame.
“When you go to someone for protection and they do everything but protect you, yeah, it’s nauseating,” Shari Montgomery said.
Shari Montgomery is the founder of House of Promise.
She’s working to create a recovery program for women who have been trafficked.
“And I just pray that these girls that have been victimized will trust our system and know that just because there’s one bad apple that doesn’t mean they’re all bad,” Montgomery said.
6 News reached out to Dunnings for comment, but did not get a response.
As the investigation continues into this developing story, we’ll update you on what we find out.