Former officer’s case dismissed

WAILUKU – Assault and abuse charges have been dismissed against former Maui Police Department officer Nelson Johnson, who was arrested last year after allegations that he slapped his 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son.

In an order filed Thursday in 2nd Circuit Court, Johnson’s case was dismissed without prejudice “pursuant to an agreement of the parties and in the interest of justice.”

“Mr. Johnson is relieved by the dismissal of the criminal case against him,” his attorney, Jon Apo, said in a statement Friday. “We are grateful that when all the smoke cleared, and a reasonable, experienced prosecutor dug into the case, the appropriate remedy presented itself.

“Mr. Johnson is looking forward to being the best parent he can be, and once again being the committed public servant that he is known to be.”

Deputy Prosecutor Jerrie Sheppard, who brought the order of dismissal that was signed by 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza, declined comment on the case Friday.

The dismissal without prejudice means that the charges could be brought again.

Johnson, 46, of Wailuku had pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree assault and two counts of abuse of a family member occurring Nov. 19 at a Wailuku residence.

That evening, police said Johnson slapped his 14-year-old daughter on her forehead for missing school and failing to do her chores. After she complained of pain and dizziness, she was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she was found to have suffered a concussion.

Police said an investigation showed that the girl was slapped three times by her father in the garage, and she fell back and hit her head on an air-conditioning unit. The girl’s 10-year-old brother also was slapped, police said.

Police said last month that Johnson, who had been a police officer for 18 years, was no longer an Maui Police Department employee. Police declined further comment.

In a report on internal actions in January, police reported that an officer was fired in January after being suspended for 14 days for the “commission of a criminal act – abuse of a household/family member” in November. The officer’s name wasn’t made public.