Hilo man indicted for alleged sexual assault of a minor


A Hilo grand jury indicted a 49-year-old Hilo man for the alleged sexual assault of a minor more than a decade ago.

The three-count indictment, returned Oct. 9, charges Eric Doherty with two counts of first-degree sexual assault and a single count of third-degree sexual assault.


According to the document, the offense took place on or about Aug. 15, 2009, and the victim, identified only by initials, was born in 2003.

The indictment states Doherty “knowingly engaged in sexual penetration” and “knowingly subjected (the minor) to sexual contact or have sexual contact with him.”

First-degree sexual assault is a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction, while third-degree sexual assault is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years incarceration upon conviction.

A bench warrant issued with the indictment set Doherty’s bail at $22,000. It also ordered Doherty to stay away from the minor, another individual and a Hilo address.

Doherty hadn’t been arrested as of Monday morning’s booking log.

According to the indictment, the statute of limitations, which is normally six years for Class A felonies and three years for Class C felonies is extended in sexual assault cases involving minor victims. The indictment states “the period of limitations has not (expired) because (the victim) is alive and under the age of eighteen.”


A check of Hawaii court records turned up 27 previous convictions dating back to 1990 for Doherty, but no convictions for felonies or sex offenses. He was found guilty of misdemeanor assault in 2009 and misdemeanor assault of a police officer in 2005.

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

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