Saturday, May 28, 2022|
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A 42-year-old Hilo man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of second-degree sexual assault.
Hilo Circuit Judge Peter Kubota ordered Michael Kawaha Jr. to appear May 16 for trial.
Kubota also reduced Kawaha’s bail from $50,000 to $10,000 over the objection of prosecutors. Kawaha is free pending trial after posting bail.
A Hilo grand jury indicted Kawaha on Dec. 15. According to the indictment, Kawaha subjected the victim, an adult woman, to two incidents of “sexual penetration by compulsion” on Sept. 1, 2018.
County Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen said the incident took place in Panaewa.
Among the conditions of Kawaha’s release on bail is to not contact the victim.
Second-degree sexual assault is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment upon conviction.
According to court records, Kawaha has no criminal record in Hawaii except for traffic offenses.
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