Hawai’i Island police have arrested and charged 40-year-old James Pomaikai Kepa, of Keaau, with first-degree sexual assault and various other domestic-related offenses following an incident that reportedly occurred in the late evening hours of August 16 into the early morning hours of August 17, 2023, at a residence on 12th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park.
On Saturday evening, August 19, 2023, after conferring with Hawai’i County Prosecutors, Area I Juvenile Aid Section detectives charged Kepa with the following offenses:
- two counts of first-degree sexual assault
- second-degree assault
- violation of a protective order
Kepa’s bail was set at $610,000.
The charges against Kepa stem from an incident reported on Thursday, August 17, 2023, when Puna Patrol officers responded to a residence in Volcano where it was reported that a 12-year-old female had been sexually assaulted.
It was reported that the juvenile victim had gone to the Hawaiian Paradise Park residence to visit Kepa’s daughter. While at the residence, Kepa reportedly lured the victim into his room, locked her inside, physically restrained her by tying her up, and over the course of the night struck the victim in the face and upper body causing pain, and sexually assaulted her.
On the morning of August 17th, Kepa reportedly untied the victim and allowed her to leave his bedroom. She then left the residence and was able to contact family and ultimately report this incident to police. Kepa made his initial court appearance on Monday afternoon, August 21, 2023, in Hilo District Court.