Former MPD officer awaits sentencing

WAILUKU – Former Maui Police Department officer Lewis Gamble is awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge of sexually assaulting a man after going to his home in Kihei to investigate a burglary report three years ago.

In addition to the felony charge of second-degree sexual assault, Gamble, 36, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of second-degree impersonating of a law enforcement officer, false reporting to law enforcement authorities, third-degree assault and misuse of 911 emergency services.

The prosecution agreed to dismiss a kidnapping charge against Gamble in exchange for his pleas.

The sexual assault charge stems from a March 9, 2010, incident when Gamble was working as a Kihei patrol officer and responded to a 911 call from the victim reporting a possible burglary at his residence.

In an interview with The Maui News, the 41-year-old victim said he was sexually assaulted by Gamble, who was in uniform and carrying a gun.

The other charges stem from an encounter between Gamble and the victim about three weeks later on March, 29, 2010, in Wailuku town. The victim reported being chased and tackled by Gamble.

After the victim reported the sexual assault, he was told that Gamble had been “suspended from his police duties and stripped of his authority to act as a police officer in the County of Maui,” according to a lawsuit filed by the victim in U.S. District Court in Honolulu. The lawsuit says Gamble falsely reported that the victim had committed criminal activities on March 29, 2010.

In court Tuesday, Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Coccaro read each of the charges that Gamble was pleading guilty to.

“Did you commit that offense?” 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill asked Gamble after each charge was read.

“Yes,” Gamble replied each time.

The plea agreement between the defense and prosecution recommends five years’ probation for Gamble, who agreed to register as a sex offender and pay to undergo sex offender treatment. The prosecution agreed not to seek jail for Gamble.

Gamble, who was arrested in March 2011 on the indictment, has been free on a $250,000 bail bond.

He was an Maui police officer for about five years before being fired in March 2010, police reports indicate.

Gamble is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20.