Molokai man faces more assault charges

WAILUKU — A 20-year-old Molokai man who was charged with sexually assaulting a woman is facing additional charges alleging he sexually assaulted a teenage girl.

Damien Paleka was arraigned Thursday on an indictment charging him with seven counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The indictment includes charges alleging Paleka sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in the early morning hours of Aug. 14 at her residence, as well as charges alleging he sexually assaulted a girl between January and March 3.

The cases of the two victims are consolidated in the indictment returned Nov. 13 by a Maui County grand jury.

During the hearing Thursday, Deputy Prosecutor J.W. Hupp asked that bail remain at $250,000 for Paleka.

Additional evidence presented at the grand jury proceeding led to a more serious sexual assault charge in the case where the woman was the victim, Hupp said. He said the charges involving the girl stemmed from “a completely separate series of instances.”

Paleka asked to have his bail lowered, with Deputy Public Defender Heather Wolfenbarger saying he couldn’t afford the higher amount.

Second Circuit Judge Kelsey Kawano reduced bail to $75,000.

Paleka was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to stay away from the two victims.


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