State charges have been dropped against a Maui police officer accused of witness tampering and hindering prosecution. But Brandon Saffeels could still face federal charges.
Saffeels is accused of sending inappropriate texts and phone calls to three women he had arrested. Maui prosecutors say they have dropped the charges against him but the case has not been dismissed.
Saffeels was supposed to have his initial court appearance Thursday and his attorney says they were both surprised that when they got there, the case was not even on the calendar, meaning the charges have been dropped.
“Most likely they just don’t have the evidence to file the case and if they were gonna kick it over to the feds then yesterday would have been the time for the feds to come in and say your honor we’re taking over this case,” said Victor Bakke, Saffeels’ attorney.
Saffeels was arrested last month after three women spoke out that he made offers to let them off the hook after arresting them, if they would return the favor.
The attorney for the women shared some of the texts Saffeels allegedly sent.
Last year, he offered to give a woman confidential police records, and made it clear he wanted something in exchange.
“Hahaha. I will get that for u as soon as I am done here. And I get anything I want?” Saffeels allegedly texted.
In July, after arresting a woman for DUI, he sent a text offering to alter his testimony so she gets off.
And later added, “Come my house if u like. I’m on duty but I can go home.”
The attorney for the women says federal prosecutors could file charges against Saffeels any day now.
“If anyone thinks that guy ain’t going to jail, I don’t know what country we live in. You don’t get to do that to multiple victims you’ve arrested. I’ve got three of them and the text messages are very very clear,” said Michael Green, attorney for the three women.
A spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s office sent us a statement saying, “Pursuant to Department of Justice policy, our office can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.”
Maui Police Department placed Saffeels on leave without pay when he was arrested. We’re still waiting to hear if that has changed.