Victim says former deputy who pleaded guilty to attempted sex assault 'should have had jail time'

Rosie Nguyen Image
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Former deputy's rape victim disappointed that he avoided jail time
A three-and-a-half-year ordeal came to a close for a Houston rape victim who accused an off-duty deputy of raping her. Even with things resolved, she said she's not happy with how her attacker was punished.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For the first time, the victim in an attempted sexual assault case involving a former Harris County sheriff's deputy is speaking out publicly. This comes more than two months after Michael Jarell Hines pleaded guilty and was ordered to six years of deferred adjudication.

According to the civil lawsuit filed by Shanita Terrill, Hines was off-duty but working security in his deputy uniform on Feb. 23, 2020, at The Address, a bar and event venue in Houston's south side. She claimed that after having a few drinks that evening as a patron, Hines and another deputy did not allow her to go home and put her in the front seat of Hines' squad car.

Terrill said that she does not remember the events that followed that night and woke up the next morning with pain in her vaginal area. The documents stated she went to the hospital, had a rape kit administered, and the DNA of the semen found on her undergarment belonged to Hines.

In a Tuesday press conference with her attorney and several retired members of law enforcement, Terrill expressed how the incident has impacted her life.

"I can't trust no one, and when it's time for me to call the cops, I don't think I would because I'm scared. Like, would it happen again?" Terrill said. "I feel just a lot of emotions, dealing with everyday life, being fearful, coming out and wondering if somebody's watching me or stalking me. You never know what's going on."

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Hines was hired by the agency on Jan. 13, 2014. His criminal record shows he faced a charge of sexual assault of a child under 17 in September 2018. But his case was no-billed, meaning that a grand jury decided not to move forward with the case. HCSO explained that's why Hines was not suspended during that time.

Hines' employment subsequently ended with HCSO on May 5, 2021. He was charged with attempted sexual assault in Terrill's case on Aug. 10, 2021, and pleaded guilty. On June 26, the judge placed Hines on deferred adjudication for six years. This means he will be placed under probation and required to follow a long list of conditions, including registering as a sex offender and prohibited from using a firearm.

"He was wearing this weapon when he assaulted her (Terrill). That's a part of the coercion, to be not only in the uniform but then having the weapon, that gun," Randall Kallinen, Terrill's attorney, said.

HCSO did not provide a comment in response to this case.

Hines' records also showed that he pleaded guilty and was placed on three months of deferred adjudication on May 24 in another case for assault of a family member on July 18, 2021.

Although Hines won't be able to expunge any of these charges from his record, Terrill and others at the press conference said they're disappointed he might not get any prison time for the crimes he's committed.

"I partly got something done. It wasn't all the way justice. I don't feel like it was fair. He should have had jail time," Terrill said. "Full justice for me looks like taking away everything, making sure that he never has a chance to hurt anybody else."

"The system is treating him (Hines) with kid gloves and gave him deferred adjudication. If he successfully completes it, he has no conviction. We're talking about abuse of power and the fact that the system does not clamp down on these individuals, so they can continue doing criminal things," Augustin Pinedo, a former probation officer and past LULAC district director, said.

Hines' lawyer, Stanley Broussard, said he had no comment on the statements made during Tuesday's press conference. But he wrote in part, "I will say that this has been an unfortunate event in both this young lady's life, as well as Mr. Hines'. I wish both of them nothing but peace and wholeness going forward."

Although this was not the exact outcome Terrill wanted, she hopes it will encourage other women in similar situations to speak up and come forward.

"Tell the truth and don't hide it if it happened. Speak on it, because everybody needs to know, and there's probably more victims that it would help out there," she said.

Terrill's civil lawsuit against Hines and The Address is still pending.

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