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Judge denies reduced bail in assault

April 11, 2008
The Maui News
WAILUKU — A judge kept bail at $100,000 for a Wailuku man who was charged with sexually assaulting a girl after her family

invited him to a weekend outing.

Frank Prieto, 27, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree sexual assault.

In asking that Prieto’s bail be reduced Wednesday, Deputy Public Defender Greg Ball said Prieto was residing at a rehabilitation program. He is a carpenters union member but has been unemployed for one month, Ball said.

Deputy Prosecutor Robert Rivera said the sexual assault occurred last month after Prieto’s former employer invited him on the outing. Prieto had been hired because he was a family friend after he couldn’t be placed at other jobs “because of his severe addiction to methamphetamine,” Rivera said.

Police said the sexual assault occurred in the early-morning hours of March 9 in a Kaanapali hotel room, where the 15-year-old girl and other family members were staying.

When police looked for Prieto after the sexual assault was reported, his family and friends lied about his whereabouts, Rivera said. He said teams of undercover officers searched for Prieto in Waiehu and Upcountry areas before he turned himself in March 17.

“There’s no question he poses a significant risk or danger to the community,” Rivera said.

In maintaining bail at $100,000, 2nd Circuit Judge Joel August said he wasn’t going along with a probation department recommendation to reduce Prieto’s bail.

If he does post bail, Prieto was ordered to continue to reside at the treatment program and abide by a curfew from 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. He also was ordered to have no drugs, paraphernalia and alcohol and to report for drug testing.

A June 9 trial is scheduled for Prieto.


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