A former Maui Police Department officer pleaded guilty today before a U.S. District judge in a case in which the officer allegedly told a woman he arrested that he would lie for her in court in exchange for a sexual relationship with each other, the Department of Justice said in a news release.
Brandon Charles Saffeels, 36, of Maui, pleaded guilty to a seven-count indictment alleging that in 2019 he engaged in a bribery scheme wherein he solicited a sexual relationship with the woman, whom he arrested for driving under the influence, by offering to provide false testimony in court to help her beat her case.
Court documents said that after the woman was released from custody, Saffeels began talking with her over the phone and through text. At one point he said they would have to meet in person if he was to help her, and invited her to his house and told her to bring her clothes.
“Integrity. Compassion. Fairness. Service. Those are the guiding principles of the Maui Police Department’s mission. Brandon Saffeels’ conduct violated each of these core principles,” said acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Judith A. Philips. “As a sworn police officer, Mr. Saffeels was charged with serving the public. 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.”