'Panty Burglar' is headed back behind bars


POSTED: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The man who became known as the “;Kahala Panty Burglar”; advertised rooms for rent for women only in his rented Kaneohe mansion on Craigslist under a false name so prospective tenants would not know he is a convicted sex offender, said the state, the man's wife and his tenants.

A state judge sentenced Harrison Mew yesterday to 60 days in jail for failing to tell his probation officer that police questioned him about an alleged theft and sexual assault and for missing two installment payments on a court-ordered fine.

Mew, 57, served time in state prison for a 1983 conviction for a series of burglaries in the Kahala area in which women's panties were stolen.

He pleaded guilty in 1999 to two counts of second-degree sexual assault for which a state judge sentenced him to five years on probation.

Another state judge sentenced him in 2007 to another five years on probation and ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine for failing to list a vehicle on the state sex offender registry.

He told Circuit Judge Steven Alm yesterday he did not mention to his probation officer that police recently questioned him and that he failed to make payments for his fine because he forgot.

“;My family has a history of dementia, Alzheimer's. I'm getting up there in age. I'm not the best as far as remembering things,”; he said.

;[Preview]  Mew Behind Bars for 60 Days

The man once called the “;Kahala Panty Burglar”; is behind bars today, but not for long.

Watch ]


Alm told Mew he was not buying his explanation.

“;When I look at what your convictions are in the past, Mr. Mew, this is real serious conduct,”; Alm said.

Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Puu said police questioned Mew after a former tenant reported he sexually assaulted her at the Kaneohe house.

And when she moved out, the check he gave her for her deposit bounced.

Police have not charged him with theft or sexual assault.

Mew's wife, Julia, said when she met Mew in January 2007, he lied about his past.

After she married him seven months ago, she said, she gradually learned everything.

She said they moved into an 8,000-square-foot home with an indoor playground overlooking Kaneohe Bay in May on an agreement of sale for $8,500 per month.

She said she advised him against using a false name and renting only to women but did not tell the tenants until a few days ago, after the state took Mew into custody for violating the terms of his probation.

“;It's like everything on my shoulders,”; she said, “;but I cannot play the scam. I will not back him up.”;

La Shelle Marie Entsminger said she does not trust her own judgment anymore after learning she rented a room from a convicted sex offender using a fake name.

“;He projected that this was a safe place to be,”; she said. “;I just moved out of a place where I was violated in that very way.”;

Julia Mew said she is seeking an annulment but worries what that will do to her immigration status since she is a German citizen and does not have a green card.

Francoise Mueller, who lives in the home with her two sons, said the 60-day jail term does not give her and the others time to consider other options because Mew has not paid the utility bills or the current month's rent.

“;We don't know if the power is going to stay on, are we going to get locked out tomorrow,”; she said.