An Idaho man is charged with choking a woman in an alleged attempt to force her into a sexual act while he was naked. His jail booking photo depicts him wearing a t-shirt that one might say coincidentally portended — or by happenstance described — his troubles with the law on the relevant date in question.
“Adulting: would not recommend,” the t-shirt reads in a message that brackets a one-star review.
According to court records reviewed by Law&Crime, Brett Anthony Karinen, 28, is charged with one count of attempted strangulation and one count of battery with intent to commit a serious felony. Both charges are felonies.
A probable cause affidavit obtained by Law&Crime says Karinen “got into a verbal and physical disturbance” with a female victim on Nov. 13, 2022, in Idaho Falls.
The victim “reported Brett strangling her, which restricted her breathing,” the document says in a summary section. She also “said Brett held her down, sat on her, and attempted to remove her pants when he was already naked.”
The latter effort was not entirely successful, the document says elsewhere, because the defendant “did not get her pants all the way off.”
The victim “though[t] Brett was going to force her to have sex,” the affidavit says. So, she “reported clawing Brett in efforts to get him to stop.”
Responding officers noted that Karinen “had claw marks on his face, neck, and body” and that Karinen claimed he “caused these marks to himself.”
However, officers didn’t buy that explanation.
A more thorough recitation of the allegations is contained in a separate section of the probable cause affidavit. That narrative says officers arrived an apartment armed with a photo of Karinen on a law enforcement computer. As one officer pulled up, Karinen attempted to leave in a Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Karinen allegedly admitted that he and the victim were in a “verbal argument” but claimed that “nothing physical” had happened. The defendant also alleged that “everyone had already left the apartment.”
A responding officer then asked Karinen about the “red scratches on his neck and upper chest area.” Karinen claimed he “caused them to himself by grabbing his neck,” the affidavit says.
As another officer arrived, Karinen tried to re-enter his vehicle, but the first responding officer grabbed him and physically restrained him. The newly arrived officer assisted in cuffing and detaining Karinen.
The first responding officer entered the apartment and attempted to locate the alleged victim. A woman named Holly Karinen, whose relation to the defendant is unclear, said the alleged victim was not there but was rather with another woman named Sarah O’Keefe.
Once the alleged victim was located, the affidavit says she told officers that Karinen “got physical with her” and “tried to pull her pants off so she would ‘fuck him.'”
The victim “said when she resisted Brett strangled her with his arm on her neck.” She “described the strangling as Brett putting his elbow by where her face is as he is behind her.”
Elsewhere, the report says “Brett was strangling her . . . by putting her in a chokehold from behind and squeezing his bicep.”
The victim said she “relaxed myself so I could breath[e]” but that the defendant did, indeed, “restrict her ability to breath[e].” The victim added that if she had not “been able to relax when Brett did this then it would have prevented her from breathing.”
The alleged strangling was said to have lasted “a couple minutes.” The alleged victim told the police that she “saw spots” but didn’t lose consciousness.
According to the affidavit, the victim then alleged that Karinen “sat on top of her chest,” did not allow her to “leave the bedroom,” “took away her phone” (and her son’s phone) “so she could not use it to get help,” “grabbed her by the wrists,” and “slapped her left ear as well.”
That conduct “lasted for approximately three hours,” the document asserts, and some of the alleged “events happened multiple times.”
“I got claw marks on him from trying to get away,” the victim said, according to the paperwork.
The investigation is said to have revealed that the alleged victim and the defendant “have a child together” and were in an “on again off again dating relationship for approximately six years.”
In another recitation of the events cited in the affidavit, the alleged victim said Karinen “told her he wasn’t going to say ‘fuck or fight cuz that’s rape but if he just pulls my pants off and fucks me it’s not rape.'”
The victim explained to officers that “fuck or fight” is something the defendant “used to tell her,” according to the affidavit.
“[N]o, I don’t want to fuck you right now,” the alleged victim responded to the defendant as he attempted to remove her pants, she later told the police, again according to the affidavit.
After the hours-long ordeal, the alleged victim said the defendant “gave her a hydro pill to help her not feel pain from him hurting her.” She said the pills had been prescribed to her for a past leg injury.
The alleged victim said the defendant “did not rape her,” but she “said he tried,” according to the affidavit. She “said she thought Brett was ‘gonna put his dick inside me,'” the police wrote.
Later, the defendant asserted his right to counsel when the police sought to speak with him, but rather than stay quiet, he allegedly continued to ramble about “a past disturbance” and continued to assert that he had done nothing wrong. He also allegedly continued to claim that he caused his own injuries, including that he had “punched himself on his head.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 23.
However, “battery with the intent to commit a serious felony” is defined under Idaho law as “[a]ny battery committed with the intent to commit murder, rape, mayhem, robbery or lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor child.” It is punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Attempted strangulation is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Idaho court records suggest that the defendant has a long rap sheet. An individual bearing the same first, middle, and last name — and birth year — faced two criminal cases in 2020, an infraction 2019, two criminal cases and one infraction in 2017, two criminal cases in 2013, three criminal cases in 2012, one in 2011, one in 2009, and a series of juvenile cases in 2007 and 2006. Some of the charges included injury to a child, kidnapping, battery/domestic violence, fleeing from an officer, drug and drug paraphernalia charges, a weapons charge, and petit theft. The full outcomes of all of the cases are not known, but several counts were, indeed, dismissed.
EastIdahoNews.com reported that Karinen was involved in a standoff with the police in early 2020 and was sentenced to serve between one and six years behind bars. In that case, a plea agreement resulted in the dismissal of several charges — including kidnapping and injury to a child — in return for an admission on a charge of fleeing from the police. State Department of Corrections records say he was released to supervision in June 2021 and was not due to satisfy his full sentences until Feb. 14, 2024 and Feb. 14, 2026.
A redacted affidavit in the most recent arrest is available here.
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