An Orange County deputy sheriff was before an Orange County Circuit court judge on Tuesday after an allegation of domestic violence. Bryan Villella, a 25 year member of the sheriff’s office appeared before Orange Circuit Judge Sally D.M. Kest after an injunction for protection against domestic violence was petitioned for by the deputy’s ex-boyfriend.
In her ruling after the injunction hearing, Judge Kest also prohibited the deputy from contacting his ex-boyfriend in a hostile manner as well as prohibiting the deputy from carrying a weapon during non-working hours.
Although Villella’s attorney, Tim Berry, asked Kest if his client could be allowed to carry his weapon during off-duty security assignments, she said the court “will not be making any special exceptions in this case.”
Deputy Villella’s alleged boyfriend, Angel Joel Carrion on Feb. 18 filed a petition for a domestic-violence injunction for protection. But Kest instead granted a less restrictive “no-hostile contact injunction,” which means Villella can contact Carrion and show up at his house or place of business, but not act in a hostile way.
Carol Wick, chief executive officer of Harbor House, Orange County’s only shelter for victims of domestic abuse, said the order is limited and doesn’t offer the same protections as a order for protection against domestic violence.
“Domestic violence isn’t about hostility. It’s about power, control and fear,” Wick said. “However, I have a good deal of faith in the Sheriff’s Office. I know Sheriff Jerry Demings will not tolerate anything happening.”
Carrion in 2009 had complained to Sheriff’s Office investigators that Villella repeatedly beat him during their four-year relationship. The Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into Villella after Carrion accused the deputy of making him clean up his own blood after one incident, court documents show. The investigation is pending. Villella, a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office whose current yearly salary is $56,908, has faced previous allegations of domestic violence.
The first allegation of domestic abuse came to light in 2001. His ex-wife, Helen Mackenzie, served him with a temporary domestic-violence injunction, alleging physical abuse during their five-year marriage. Sheriff’s Office investigators could not confirm her accusations, but said “it is clear Villella and Ms. Mackenzie have a history of domestic disturbances.”
Villella’s most recent discipline came in October when Sheriff’s officials docked 150 hours from Villella’s pay and placed him on one year of disciplinary probation for having sex with a male guest in a Royal Plaza Resort conference room while working off-duty security during Gay Days.