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Kona man convicted of child sexual assault

MEDIA RELEASE

Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi has announced a Kona jury convicted David Kaawa, IV, of continuous sexual assault on a child under the age of 14 and of first degree sexual assault of a child between the ages of 14 and 16.

The verdict was handed down April 26, 2012 after a two week trial.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Joyce Seelen and Jason Kwiat presented evidence that the defendant had sexually abused a child living in his in care in Naalehu during a four to five year period, between 2004 to 2009.

The defendant, represented by Alfred P. Lerma, Esq., testified the child had fabricated the allegations.

The lay witnesses who testified at trial included the minor, her two brothers, a principal, guidance counselor, a teacher and several police officers.

In addition, the state presented two expert witnesses. The first, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, testified to her physical examination of the defendant. The second, a psychologist,
testified to general dynamics of sexual abuse. He testified that sexually abused children often delay disclosure of sexual abuse, particularly when the abuse is familial, and that children are susceptible to family pressure directed at maintaining secrecy.

Each of the sexual abuse counts on which Kaawa was convicted carries a mandatory indeterminate to 20 year prison sentence.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 28, 2012.

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