Keaau man pleads not guilty to sex­ual as­sault

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS - By JOHN BUR­NETT Email John Bur­nett at jbur­nett@hawai­itri­bune­

A 34-year-old Keaau man is ac­cused of the re­peated sex­ual as­sault of a mi­nor younger than 14.

Bran­don Kalani Manoha Tor­res pleaded not guilty Mon­day to con­tin­u­ous sex­ual as­sault of a mi­nor un­der the age of 14, first-de­gree sex­ual as­sault and do­mes­tic abuse. Hilo Cir­cuit Judge Henry Nakamoto or­dered him to ap­pear for trial at 8:30 a.m. March 12, 2018. Tor­res was in­dicted Oct. 25 by a Hilo grand jury. At the time, he was await­ing an Oct. 31 pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing for the same charges. The in­dict­ment ren­dered the hear­ing un­nec­es­sary.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, the al­leged sex­ual of­fenses took place be­tween Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2015, while the al­leged do­mes­tic abuse oc­curred Oct. 8, 2017.

The com­plaint states Tor­res “did, in a con­tin­u­ing course of con­duct, in­ten­tion­ally, know­ingly or reck­lessly en­gage in three or more acts of sex­ual con­tact or sex­ual pen­e­tra­tion” with the al­leged vic­tim. The in­dict­ment also al­leges Tor­res “know­ingly en­gaged in sex­ual pen­e­tra­tion” of the mi­nor.

The most se­vere charges, con­tin­u­ous sex­ual as­sault of a mi­nor and first-de­gree sex­ual as­sault, are Class A felonies that carry a max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 years im­pris­on­ment, upon con­vic­tion. The do­mes­tic abuse charge is a mis­de­meanor.

The Tri­bune-Her­ald doesn’t iden­tify al­leged sex­ual as­sault vic­tims or mi­nor com­plainants un­less they choose to go pub­lic.

Ac­cord­ing to court records, Tor­res has only one crim­i­nal con­vic­tion in Hawaii, for sec­ond-de­gree as­sault, a Class C felony. An Oahu judge sen­tenced him in 2007 to five years pro­ba­tion, 30 days in jail and 150 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice. Tor­res also was or­dered to un­dergo anger man­age­ment classes.

Tor­res is free on $102,000 bail.


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