3 more men nabbed in electronic police sting

Each man allegedly believed he was to meet teen for sex

WAILUKU — Three more men have been charged with felony crimes after allegedly arranging to meet someone each believed was a teenage girl for sex over the weekend.

The arrests were part of an electronic police sting operation in Kihei, officials said.

Bail for one suspect, Kyle Cribben, 28, of Napili, was increased to $500,000 during his initial appearance Tuesday afternoon in Wailuku District Court.

Deputy Prosecutor Karen Droscoski said Cribben was a “serious sexual predator” who allegedly interacted electronically with an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

He allegedly participated in chats with the officer and, after learning she was 13, took a photo of his private parts and sent it electronically through an application, Droscoski said. She said Cribben reportedly said he had a condom and wanted to have sex with the girl.

He was arrested Saturday after going to a meeting site they had agreed on.

Cribben was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child and indecent electronic display to a child.

Droscoski said Cribben was investigated in a prior electronic enticement case but wasn’t charged because of “noncooperation of the child victim,” who was 15.

“He has a violent criminal history” that includes sexual assault arrests, Droscoski said.

She said Cribben is on probation in two cases for violating a protective order obtained by the mother of his daughter and for violating a temporary restraining order involving another woman. Based on the allegations in those cases, “the defendant is unable to stay away from these women and is always demanding sex from them,” Droscoski said.

Deputy Public Defender Gustavo Gonzalez opposed increasing Cribben’s bail from the $22,000 set by police.

Cribben has a part-time job and family members on Maui, where he has lived for 12 years, Gonzalez said.

Judge Kirstin Hamman granted the prosecution request to increase bail to $500,000.

“Given the nature of the allegations, the court is extremely concerned about the safety of the community,” Hamman said.

Joseph Montelongo, 34, of Haiku, who also was arrested Saturday, had his bail increased to $100,000 during his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child.

Deputy Public Defender Rachel Miyoshi had asked for Montelongo to be released on supervision or his own recognizance “based on the fact that we have a virus emergency setting, and he has absolutely no criminal history.”

She said Montelongo has two jobs and has lived on Maui for three years.

Deputy Prosecutor Anthony Herndon asked for the increased bail based on allegations that Montelongo had agreed to meet with an undercover officer posting as a teenage girl “with the intention of having a sexual encounter.”

Deputy Prosecutor J.W. Hupp said others were involved in the sting operation.

In increasing bail, Judge John Breen said: “One of the things that’s very concerning to me is we have this trafficking of young people, and without patrons, there isn’t a sex-trafficking business.”

Breen said he wanted to keep bail in line with the $100,000 he set Monday for Eric Duncan, 34, of Kihei, who is charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child. He was arrested Friday in the sting operation.

Cribben and Montelongo were ordered not to have contact with anyone under age 18. They also were prohibited from going on any dating or meet-up applications or websites.

Police records show Rodney Shimoda, 64, of Kahului was arrested Saturday and released after posting $22,000 bail. He was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child and indecent electronic display to a child.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.


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