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Police: Teens were raped at knifepoint

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Police say two teens separately identified the same man as the knife-wielding suspect in an alleged double rape last week in Hilo.

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Police say two teens separately identified the same man as the knife-wielding suspect in an alleged double rape last week in Hilo.

A 19-year-old woman and her friend, a 17-year-old juvenile girl, both picked 36-year-old Oran Charles Kita from separate photographic lineups as the man who allegedly attacked them, according to court documents filed by police.

The alleged victims, both East Hawaii residents, told police they were hiking near Piihonua Bridge above Hilo town the afternoon of Dec. 22 when a local man approached them and told them there was a waterfall in the area, according to documents.

Both also reportedly told police the man led them to a remote area, where he brandished a knife, told them to take off their clothes, tied their hands behind their backs and forced both to perform various sex acts with him.

Police arrested Kita early the next afternoon near the Piihonua Bridge.

Court documents state a clear zip-close bag with a “green leafy substance that appeared to be marijuana” was seen next to the driver’s seat of Kita’s silver 1991 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, and a screen by a police drug-sniffing dog resulted “in a positive alert.”

According to documents, Kita originally told officers his name is “Joshua Kita” and that the truck, which is registered to Oran Kita, belonged to his cousin.

Police took the truck into evidence, documents state.

Kita, who also is facing unrelated felony marijuana growing charges, made his initial appearance Monday in Hilo District Court on the current charges, which include 15 counts of first-degree sex assault, seven counts of third-degree sex assault, two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, two counts of kidnapping and one count of marijuana possession.

Judge Harry Freitas ordered Kita, who is in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center, to appear at 2 p.m. today for a preliminary hearing, and maintained his bail at $891,000.

Police had sought Kita since Feb. 9, 2011, after executing a search warrant at a home in the 15-1600 block of 15th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Officers reportedly confiscated 381 plants, 6.7 pounds of processed marijuana, 5.3 pounds of a “green leafy substance,” grow lights, a generator and “various other paraphernalia associated with marijuana cultivation” indoors, according to a police spokeswoman.

He was indicted Jan. 23, 2014, on the pot-related charges, and his bail was set at $23,000. He pleaded not guilty last week. Trial on those charges is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 11.

Kita’s mother, Suzanne Kita, who was in the courtroom Monday, told the Tribune-Herald last week her son had a medical marijuana card issued by a local physician because of Crohn’s disease, and had permission to grow pot for himself and others.

Kita also was wanted on suspicion of a sex assault that allegedly took place Feb. 5, 2011. Police are still investigating that case. No charges have been filed.

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Kita, who has no prior felony convictions, faces numerous Class A felony charges, each punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.