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Former House candidate enters no-contest plea

Marten strikes deal for endangering a minor; sex assault counts dismissed

CHAYNE MARTEN – Enters into plea agreement

The Maui News

WAILUKU — Former Republican state House candidate Chayne Marten pleaded no contest Thursday to a felony charge of endangering the welfare of a minor, as part of a plea agreement dismissing sexual assault charges against him.

Marten, 67, of Napili entered the plea the week his trial had been scheduled to begin in 2nd Circuit Court.

The case against him has been pending since October 2016 when he was indicted on five counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of third-degree sexual assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. The charges alleged sexual contact and penetration of a girl from December 2007 to December 2010, while she was between ages 7 and 10. The girl is related to Marten.

After being arrested in October 2016, Marten was held in lieu of $650,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center until he was released in May 2017 on a bail bond secured by property owned by him and his wife on Kauai.

As part of his plea agreement, Marten agreed to complete the Hawaii Sex Offender Treatment Program and have no contact with the girl. In exchange for Marten’s plea to the amended charge of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, the prosecution agreed to dismiss four counts of first-degree sexual assault and the other charges against Marten.

The prosecution will seek a five-year prison term, and the defense can argue for probation when Marten is sentenced Nov. 26 by Judge Richard Bissen.

In the 2016 general election, Marten ran for the state House District 10 seat (West Maui, Maalaea, north Kihei), losing to incumbent Rep. Angus McKelvey, a Democrat. McKelvey received 4,573 votes to Marten’s 1,643.