A Honolulu police officer was arrested by the State Attorney General’s Office in Waikiki Tuesday night on suspicion of bribery, prostitution, and unauthorized use of a computer.
The Attorney General identified the officer as Maulia Labarre, a former University of Hawaii volleyball player.
He has been released pending further investigation, and charges have not been filed.
Honolulu police say they supported and assisted with the attorney general in the investigation, which also involved the FBI.
Deputy Chief Marie McCauley issued the following in a statement:
“Prior to the arrest of Maulia Labarre, the Honolulu Police Department proactively and willingly collaborated with the Hawaii State Attorney General’s investigation. We engaged in this investigation in order to ensure that any officer involved in inappropriate activity would be identified and held accountable. Our priority is protecting and serving our community, so it is of critical importance that we identify any breaches of conduct within our ranks. This is essential to maintaining the strength and integrity of the police force.
McCauley said an internal administrative investigation has been opened.
Labarre has eight years of service and his police powers have been restricted. He will be placed on unpaid leave, McCauley said.
According to the University of Hawaii athletics website, Labarre is a Roosevelt High School graduate and played volleyball for the university in 2001 and then the 2004-2006 seasons. He was a volunteer assistant coach on the Warrior coaching staff in 2014.
The state isn’t revealing any more details on the arrest or why federal investigators were involved, but former criminal defense attorney Ken Lawson, who is also a faculty member at the university’s William S. Richardson School of Law says it’s probably linked to the unauthorized use of a computer.
“If he used a computer to get in touch with a prostitute for reasons that had nothing to do with his official job, then that could be the basis for the charge that we’re seeing,” Lawson said. As for the bribery, “more than likely he is trying to bribe her or whoever, whoever the prostitute is, and to not come forward to testify against him, and all that takes is just an offer.”
Kathryn Xian with Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery is an advocate for those who fall victim in the sex industry. She says police officers taking advantage of prostitutes happens all too often.
“Every advocate who works with survivors tells you that there is a big problem with corruption within the police department, specifically with officers coercing sex with prostituted persons,” she said.
We went to HPD’s headquarters to ask them about this problem, but were told that no one was available to talk to us.
Tenari Maafala, president of SHOPO, the police officers’ union, says if proven, Labarre is an officer who made some bad choices.
“Behind every badge is a human being, so we’re susceptible to make mistakes and obviously some are greater than others, but nonetheless, we’re all humans and we do make mistakes,” he said.