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Hilo Man Indicted for 2018 Sexual Assault

Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that a grand jury returned an indictment charging 42 year-old Michael Kawaha of Hilo for a 2018 incident in Panaewa.

During his initial appearance in Hilo Circuit Court on January 4, Judge Peter Kubota granted Kawaha’s request to reduce bail from $50,000.00 to $10,000.00 over Prosecutor’s objections.

As the Indictment alleges, Kawaha was charged with two counts of Sexual Assault in the Second Degree. Sexual Assault in the Second Degree is a class B felony offense which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The investigation was handled by Det. Gavin Kagimoto of the Area 1 Juvenile Aid Section and Sgt. Matthew Kaaihue, Dispatch Section, formerly of the Area I Juvenile Aid Section, Hawai‘i Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sylvia Wan.

The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Photo credit: Hawai’i County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

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