Hawaii cop gets 30 months in jail for offering defendant exculpatory testimony in exchange for sex

On Thursday, Hawaii News Now reported that Brandon Saffeels, a former Maui Police officer, has been sentenced to 30 months for a scheme in which he solicited sexual favors from a criminal defendant in exchange for testimony to throw her trial.

"The woman is a single mother, and said she felt trapped and intimidated by the officer who started sending her text messages shortly after her arrest," reported Lynn Kawano. "In the exchange of messages, he invited her to his house and then wrote, 'I will f*** up my testimony so that u get off.' In August 2019, the woman came forward to Hawaii News Now to report the crime, saying she was too afraid to report it to the Maui Police Department. She felt it would be covered up by his fellow officers."

According to the report, more women came forward after the investigation was opened, and four are now suing the Maui Police Department.

"I do feel like I've gotten a little of my power back. I feel like I can breathe again," said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous.

The sentence comes down amid a national conversation about police reforms to prevent misconduct and abuse of power, as well as other high-profile incidents including an Austin, Texas police detective who shot and killed three people in a domestic incident after being charged with first-degree child sexual assault.