State briefs for Feb.25

Kamehameha teacher charged with sexual assault

HONOLULU (AP) — An assistant band director in Hawaii is accused of sexually assaulting a student multiple times while at school, at his home and at the victim’s residence, authorities said.


An Oahu grand jury on Thursday indicted James Maeda of multiple counts of sexual assault.

The Kamehameha Schools teacher at the Kapalama campus was arrested last week by Honolulu police.

Maeda, 24, has pleaded not guilty, and he is out of jail on $450,000 bail. Maeda and his attorney declined to comment.

Authorities began an investigation after the mother of the girl discovered sexually explicit text messages on the teen’s phone, according to court documents.

Authorities said the assaults began in June when the student was 14, and the most recent occurred this month.

In a letter sent to parents last week, Kapalama campus school head Taran Chun said the teacher was placed on indefinite administrative leave immediately after the school learned of the allegations. The letter did not identify the teacher.

“Any behavior that jeopardizes the safety and well-being of our students, which includes by the predator or by any employee who fails to appropriately report suspected abuse, is completely unacceptable,” Chun wrote. “I not only join the entire community in demanding more of us, I hold myself responsible for the safety of Kapalama students.”

Chun wrote that the school is working to strengthen its policies and training to help prevent sexual abuse.

“We want all victims to feel safe to speak up, so that we can support them and learn how to better keep current and future students safe,” Chun wrote.

Report: Maintenance issues led to helicopter crash

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii tour helicopter was not properly maintained when it crashed into waters near Pearl Harbor two years ago, according to a federal report.

The final report from the National Transportation Safety Board indicated that increased inspections by the Federal Aviation Administration may have uncovered the aircraft’s inadequate maintenance and prevented the February 2016 crash.

The pilot and a family of four from Ontario, Canada, were on the helicopter when it went down and sank.

Riley Dobson, 16, died at a hospital four days later from injuries associated with the crash.

Two other passengers and the pilot were seriously injured. Another passenger had minor injuries.

A component inside the helicopter’s engine-to-transmission drive shaft did not appear to be properly lubricated, likely causing the assembly to fail from overheating, according to the NTSB report.


NTSB investigators were told that the helicopter underwent maintenance before the crash, but that maintenance was not logged. During that maintenance, grease was not applied as specified in the maintenance manual, according to the report.

Other required maintenance inspections were overdue and were not completed prior to the crash, according to the report.