Suspect Released in Alleged Child Sex Assault
By Wendy Osher
A suspect arrested on Tuesday in connection with a reported attempted sex assault at a Hilo school was released from police custody.
Hawai’i Island police say the decision to release Samson Perez, also known as Samson Kahumoku, was made after detectives conferred with county prosecutors.
The arrest stemmed from a September 20 incident in which authorities responded to a report of a confrontation between a female child and an adult male in a campus restroom.
According to police reports, the child managed to escape from the man.
Perez was taken into custody a few hours after the incident and was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree sexual assault, attempted kidnapping and attempted first-degree sexual assault.
Police say all the information uncovered during the investigation, coupled with the child’s ability to proceed with prosecution, were taken into consideration.
“Within a week, the victim would be required to testify in open court, with the suspect present and be exposed to cross examination by a defense attorney,” Hawai’i Island Police said in a statement today.
“Speaking in general terms, cases involving child victims of such traumatic events often take longer to adjudicate due to concerns about what is in the best interest of the child victim. While the public’s safety is always a consideration, the ability of the child to testify without inflicting additional trauma on him or her weighs heavily during the decision making process,” the statement said.