A former Maui police officer admitted in federal court on Wednesday that he told a suspect he would lie on the stand for her if she engaged in a sexual relationship with him, the Department of Justice announced.
Brandon Charles Saffeels, 36, pleaded guilty to a seven-count indictment that includes public corruption in the form of honest services wire fraud, the DOJ said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 13.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Judith A. Philips said in a statement that Saffeels violated the core principles of the Maui Police Department: Integrity, fairness and service.
“As a sworn police officer, Mr. Saffeels was charged with serving the public,” she said. “According to the indictment, he instead used the power bestowed upon him by the people of Maui to solicit a sexual relationship. Thanks to the MPD’s swift action to remove Mr. Saffeels from its ranks and the FBI’s diligent efforts to bring him to justice, the public can rest assured that such misconduct will not be tolerated.”
Saffeels’ case dates back to July 2019 when he arrested a woman for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, the DOJ said. After she was released from custody, Saffeels reached out to her by phone and text. He told her that he would help her beat her case by perjuring himself in his testimony at her trial, according to the DOJ.
However, Saffeels told her she would need to meet him in person, including a visit to his house, the DOJ said.
Saffeels faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the seven counts when he is sentenced, according to the DOJ.
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