Utah 12-year-old charged in attempted sexual assault

A 12-year-old Utah boy was arrested after leading a woman up a trail and attempting to sexually assault her Monday afternoon at Twin Falls in Haiku, police said. The boy was charged with first-degree attempted sexual assault and kidnapping and was being held for Family Court by the sheriff’s department.

Wailuku patrol officers reported to the scene at 1:57 p.m., when a 27-year-old woman from New York was reportedly attacked by a boy along one of the trails at the popular tourist location, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

The woman, who was in a tour group with her husband, was separated from the group after losing her cellphone and met the boy as she was looking for it, Rego said.

He said the boy, who was traveling with his parents and other family members on a cruise ship, claimed he saw someone take her cellphone and led her up one of the smaller trails. When they were out of sight from the woman’s group, the boy attacked her and held her down in a chokehold. The woman was able to break free after screaming and ran down to another tour group led by Hike Maui.

“I was leading my group and happened upon a girl that had a very panicked look in her eye,” said tour guide Jake Noury-Adolpho, who was leading a dozen hikers. “She told me that she was sexually assaulted and attempted to be raped.”

Noury-Adolpho said he gave the woman some water and told her he was going to escort her out of the area.

“Less than 10 minutes later, though, the boy snuck up behind the bushes and was tracking her,” he said of the boy wearing an orange shirt. “One customer pointed him out and as soon as we locked eyes, I chased him down and made sure he was in a situation that he couldn’t get out of.”

The boy, who was approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, was restrained and turned over to police, Rego said.

“With my tour all of them witnessed the entire thing,” Noury-Adolpho said. “The fact that people are out there all on their own . . . I would feel very sick to my stomach if something like this were to happen again and for the public to not know about it.”

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at csugidono@mauinews.com.