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Prosecutors Charge Puna Man for Felony Assault, Abuse, and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor

by Thunda

Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that a Puna man, 31 year-old Clayton E. Saragosa was charged via felony information in relation to incidents involving a minor, that occurred between January 1, 2024 and March 22, 2024.

Saragosa is schedule to make his initial appearance on Thursday afternoon in Hilo Circuit Court. His bail is currently set at $100,000.00. Saragosa was originally charged by way of Complaint in Hilo District Court.

As the Information alleges, Saragosa was charged with Assault in the First Degree, (cause serious bodily injury to a minor, depriving a minor of necessary sustenance for survival and such depravation created a substantial risk of death or serious, permanent disfigurement, or a protracted loss of impairment of the function of any bodily member of organ), Assault in the Second Degree (caused a burn of at least second degree severity on the leg and/or feet of a minor), two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the Second Degree, and three counts of Abuse of a Family or Household Member.

The most serious offense, Assault in the First Degree, is a class B felony punishable by either a ten-year prison term or five years probation and up to eighteen months in jail. However, Prosecutors have provided notice that if Defendant is convicted as charged, he will be subject to a mandatory prison term and will not be eligible for probation.

The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was initiated by South Hilo Patrol and the felony investigation was handled by Detective Patrick Aurello, Area I Juvenile Aid Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kirsten Selvig.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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