Grand jury indicts man in attempted sex assault

Woman attacked at shopping center

A 58-year-old man was indicted Friday on a warrant charging him with kidnapping and attempted first-degree sexual assault of a woman last week at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului.

Raymond Birano Jr. of Haiku is set to be arraigned next week in 2nd Circuit Court on the charges, according to court records.

A preliminary hearing that had been set for Friday afternoon in Wailuku District Court was canceled because Birano was indicted by a Maui County grand jury, court records show.

Bail was set at $500,000 for Birano, who was being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

He was arrested after a 40-year-old woman reported she was walking to the women’s bathroom near the shopping center food court at about 2:30 p.m. Jan. 3 when she was grabbed by a man, police said. She told police the man forced her into the men’s bathroom and into a stall, pulled out a knife and threatened to sexually assault her.

The woman was able to push the man away, ran out of the bathroom and notified mall security, police said. The man ran, but mall security officers caught him and detained him until police arrived, according to police.

Birano has a criminal past that includes a conviction for murder in the June 18, 1978, stabbing of 21-year-old Clendes Fernandez outside his Kahului home. He also has convictions for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, second-degree escape, second-degree criminal property damage, second-degree assault, second-degree promoting prison contraband and second-degree theft.

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