Plea change is Konawaena High sex assault case

  • Justin Mariano appears at his mental fitness hearing Friday in Circuit Court. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

A Kona man charged with multiple counts of first-degree sexual assault related to incidents at a West Hawaii high school changed his plea to no contest this month after a panel of mental health experts found him fit to stand trial after being held in custody of the State Hospital since 2019.