Sex offender freed despite victim’s plea

WAILUKU – A Kihei man was released from jail last week after being incarcerated for 18 months for sexually assaulting a woman who had obtained a court order prohibiting him from contacting her.

Brian Therrell Jr., 35, also was placed on five years’ probation as part of his sentence Thursday. He was ordered to comply with sex offender registration requirements and to pay $3,375 in restitution.

Therrell was arrested in July 2011 after police said that he broke into the home of the woman, a family member, and sexually assaulted her.

In court Thursday, the woman said that she was afraid of Therrell, who had threatened to hurt her and burn down her house.

She said she didn’t suffer physical injuries that night because “I knew I had to comply to stay alive.”

At the time, Therrell was on probation for felony abuse of the woman in 2008.

“I do understand he will not be incarcerated forever,” she said. “Each day he is is just one more precious day where I am safe.”

First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera recommended a 10-year prison term for Therrell. He had pleaded no contest to two reduced counts of second-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, 11 counts of violating an order for protection and abuse.

“The defendant has demonstrated that although he qualifies for probation, he’s likely to violate it because he just can’t take no for an answer,” Rivera said.

He said that Therrell would probably violate conditions of his probation and end up in prison.

But defense attorney Al Albrechtson said there wasn’t anything in Therrell’s record to show he wouldn’t comply with probation. Therrell had abided by requirements of his probation in his 2008 case and was “if not a model probationer, at least someone who completed everything that was asked of him,” Albrechtson said.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen said that Therrell completed all probationary conditions “with the exception of one, and of course it’s a big one – and that is he did not remain arrest- or conviction-free.”

Therrell said that he planned to move to another part of the island and eventually go back to Oregon. “I have no intentions of going back to Kihei again,” he said in court.

When Bissen asked Therrell why he had violated his probation and the court’s order, Therrell said he had thought there was a chance that he and the woman “could work things out, just as we did in 2008.”

“It was never my intention to hurt or put fear into her or anyone else,” Therrell said.

As part of his probation, Therrell was ordered to have no contact with the victim and to not consume alcohol or illegal drugs. He also was ordered to participate in sex offender treatment and a domestic violence intervention program.