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Hilo men indicted in unrelated sex assaults

A Hilo grand jury has indicted two Hilo men in unrelated sex assault cases, one involving a newly minted attorney recently hired as a deputy public defender.

A three-count indictment returned Jan. 29 charges 31-year-old Pueo Kaiholenamapunamakai McGuire-Turcotte, also known as Kai McGuire, with first-, third- and fourth-degree sexual assault for an incident that allegedly occurred Jan. 19 at McGuire-Turcotte’s Hilo home.

According to a court document filed by police, a 27-year-old woman told officers she and McGuire were watching a movie in his bedroom late on the night of Jan. 19, when McGuire asked the woman if she wanted to have sex, to which she replied no. The woman alleged that McGuire-Turcotte then took off her clothes, held her down on the bed and forced himself on her.

The woman told officers she didn’t consent and repeatedly told McGuire-Turcotte she wanted to leave, the document states.

A sexual-assault nurse-examiner conducted an examination on the woman, which “revealed redness and injury to the back, side and front of the neck, consistent to being held with a hand,” according to the document.

The Tribune-Herald doesn’t publish the names of alleged sexual assault victims unless those individuals choose to go public.

A search warrant was executed on McGuire-Turcotte’s residence and other evidence was recovered, the document states.

McGuire-Turcotte is a 2019 graduate of Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore., and was admitted to the state bar on Nov. 15, according to the Hawaii State Bar Association website.

After his graduation from law school, McGuire-Turcotte was a law clerk for Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura, who retired in late November.

State Public Defender James Tabe said Tuesday that McGuire-Turcotte has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending investigation. Tabe said he couldn’t comment further “since it’s a personnel matter.”

McGuire-Turcotte pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday before Kona Circuit Judge Robert Kim, who ordered him to return for trial at 9 a.m. June 2.

He’s free on $30,500 bail.

In a separate, unrelated six-count indictment returned Jan. 29, 36-year-old John Allen Wager is charged with two counts each of first-degree sexual assault and second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, plus single counts of attempted first-degree sexual assault and second-degree promotion of a harmful drug.

According to the complaint, Wager subjected a 14-year-old girl identified only by initials “to an act of sexual penetration by strong compulsion” and/or “knowingly engaged in sexual penetration with a minor” twice on Jan. 13 and attempted to do so another time on the same date.

Wager also is accused of distributing amphetamines or methamphetamine on Jan. 13 and Jan. 17, the complaint states, and illegal possession on Jan. 17 of at least 50 dosage units of clonazepam — a prescription drug sold as Klonopin, which is used to treat panic attacks, certain types of seizures and anxiety disorder.

The sexual offenses are all Class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction, and the drug offenses are all Class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years incarceration upon conviction.

The indictment alleges Wager is subject to extended terms of imprisonment, which could potentially result in life imprisonment with the possibility of parole if he is convicted of two or all three Class A felony charges.

Wager pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday before Acting Hilo Circuit Judge Kanani Laubach, who ordered him to return for trial at 9 a.m. June 5.

Wager remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $225,000 bail.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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