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Hilo man indicted for alleged crimes against minors

A Hilo grand jury indicted a 34-year-old Hilo man for allegedly abusing two minors — sexually assaulting one of them — and abusing an adult woman.

The 19-count indictment filed Nov. 29 charges Christopher John Kunishige with continuous sexual assault of a minor younger than 14, domestic abuse of an adult in the presence of a minor younger than 14, four counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts each of kidnapping, second-degree assault and terroristic threatening, and seven counts of domestic abuse by strangulation.

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According to the document, the alleged offenses took place between Nov. 17, 2014, and Dec. 10, 2015.

A bench warrant was issued for Kunishige’s arrest, with bail set at $420,000. Kunishige also was ordered to have no contact with the minors, who are identified in the indictment only by their initials.

Kunishige had not been arrested as of Tuesday.

All of the alleged sexual assaults were committed against the same victim who, according to the indictment, was born in September 2009. That victim also was allegedly restrained, threatened and strangled once.

The other juvenile victim, whose date of birth isn’t specified, was allegedly threatened, restrained, assaulted twice — resulting in bodily injury both times — and strangled on six occasions.

Kidnapping, sexual assault and continual sexual assault of a minor younger than 14 are all Class A felonies normally punishable by 20 years imprisonment upon conviction, while second-degree assault, first-degree terroristic threatening and felony domestic abuse are all Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.

The indictment alleges that, for the protection of the public, Kunishige is subject by law to extended terms of imprisonment as a multiple offender. That means if he is convicted of more than one Class A felony, he could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

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A check of court records turned up no prior criminal convictions for Kunishige in Hawaii.

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

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