- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - A Honolulu Police Department patrol officer was arrested in Waikiki for attempted bribery, unauthorized use of a computer and prostitution.

Officer Maulia Labarre was arrested by investigators Tuesday night, according to the state attorney general’s office. He was booked by the Sheriff’s Department and released pending further investigation.

Labarre, a former athlete for the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team, has eight years of service with the department and is assigned to the downtown Honolulu area. Police opened an internal investigation, and Labarre was placed on unpaid leave with his police powers restricted pending the outcome of the investigation, officials said Wednesday.

“The Honolulu Police Department holds its personnel to a higher standard of conduct,” said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu in an emailed statement. “Illegal or unethical behavior is not tolerated and any alleged breach of these standards is taken very seriously.”

Phone calls made by The Associated Press to numbers associated with Labarre were not answered Wednesday, and the Honolulu Police Department did not know if he had a lawyer.

Hawaii has an unusual history with prostitution. Until two years ago, police officers were legally allowed to have sex with prostitutes as part of investigations. That policy was changed by the state Legislature after The Associated Press highlighted the law.

Last year, 16 women arrested in a Honolulu massage parlor prostitution sting were charged with sex assault, a charge more severe than prostitution. Honolulu’s top prosecutor later dismissed the case after the sex assault charges they faced drew criticism.

“I applaud the fact that they arrested him,” said Myles Breiner, a Honolulu attorney who represents sex workers. “Historically in the officers assigned to investigating and arresting people for prostitutes have tended to engage in improper behavior with the prostitutes…It’s still occurring. On a less frequent basis, but it still occurs.”

Labarre graduated from the University of Hawaii in 2006 and served as a volunteer coach for the men’s volleyball team from 2012-2014, according to university spokesman Derek Inouchi.

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This story has been corrected to show the charge was attempted bribery, not bribery


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