Three indicted in alleged abduction, sex assault

  • JOEL HANALEI WHITE
  • MISTY KAMELAMELA
  • JOANNA LEI KAWELO
  • KAWAHIOKALANI HODSON

Three of four individuals originally accused of the alleged abduction and sexual assault of a woman late last month in Puna were indicted by a Hilo grand jury in connection with the incident.

A 10-count indictment filed June 20 charges 50-year-old Kahiwaokalani Recca Hodson of Keaau, also known as Kahiwa Hodson, with being an accomplice to first-degree sexual assault and second-degree assault, plus kidnapping, second-degree assault, first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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A six-count indictment charges 35-year-old Joanna Lei Kawelo of Pahoa with being an accomplice to first-degree sexual assault and first-degree terroristic threatening, plus kidnapping, first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.

And another six-count indictment charges 32-year-old Misty Kamelamela of Keaau with being an accomplice to kidnapping and first-degree terroristic threatening, plus second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to police, a 36-year-old woman being treated at Hilo Medical Center reported May 31 that she was abducted and kept for several days at a home in Hawaiian Paradise Park. The woman alleged she was beaten, sexually assaulted and threatened with a firearm while at the home.

Police executed a search warrant on the house, which is on 29th Avenue.

A 40-year-old Waimea man, Joel Hanalei White, previously was charged with first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping in connection with the case. His charges were dismissed June 13 by Hilo District Judge Charles Hite at the request of prosecutors “in the interest of justice and for further investigation,” according to court minutes. The dismissal was without prejudice, which means charges can be refiled.

White, who is awaiting retrial in an unrelated attempted murder case in Kona, was not indicted.

Bench warrants were issued for the arrests of all three women on the indictments.

Hodson is free on $54,020 bail posted in Hilo District Court, although the bench warrant increases her bail by $5,000. Kawelo remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $47,000 bail. And Kamelamela remains in custody at HCCC in lieu of $36,000 bail.

White was released from custody at HCCC after his charges were dropped.

The two most severe charges, first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping, are Class A felonies that carry a maximum prison term of 20 years upon conviction.

First-degree assault and second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug are Class B felonies that carry a potential 10-year prison term. First-degree terroristic threatening and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug are C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.

The other charges are misdemeanors.

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A conviction of being an accomplice to any act carries the same potential penalties as actually committing the act itself.

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

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