Maui News

Grand Jury Indictment, Birano Enters Not Guilty Plea

January 14, 2019, 10:51 AM HST
* Updated January 14, 12:44 PM
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Not Guilty Plea Entered

Raymond Birano Jr., 58, entered a not guilty plea in second circuit court today after being indicted by a grand jury for kidnapping and attempted first degree sexual assault.  The charges stem from an incident on Jan. 3, 2019 at the bathroom area near the food court of the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center in Kahului.  During the incident, Birano allegedly grabbed a 40-year-old woman, forced her inside the men’s bathroom and into a stall where he pulled out a knife and threatened to sexually assault her, police said.

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According to police reports, the woman was able to push the man away, ran out of the bathroom and notified mall security. The man fled the mall, but police say security personnel were able to catch him nearby and detain him until police arrived.  Maui police have since identified the man as Raymond Birano, Jr., and say his last known address was in Haʻikū.

Bail Study Ordered, Trial Date Set:

A bail study has been ordered for Jan. 16, 2019 at 8 a.m. and a jury trial has been set for March 11, 2019 at 8 a.m.  Birano was being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center on $500,000 bail at last report.

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Grand Jury Indictment:

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According to the indictment, filed by Acting First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera, Birano “did intentionally or knowingly restrain another person with intent to inflict bodily injury upon that person, or subject that person to a sexual offense, thereby committing the offense of kidnapping” in violation of Hawaiʻi law.

The second count alleges that Birano “did intentionally engage in conduct which, under the circumstances as he believed them to be, constituted a substantial step in a course of conduct intended to culminate in his commission of the crime of sexual assault in the first degree, by attempting to intentionally subject another person to an act of sexual penetration by strong compulsion, by attempting forced sexual intercourse, thereby committing the offense of attempted sexual assault in the first degree.”

Lengthy Record of Arrests, Time Served for Murder Conviction:

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Earlier, we reported that Birano has a prior conviction for murder.

According to a March 1979 article published in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Raymond Birano Jr. was 18 when he was accused of fatally stabbing Clendez Fernandez in front of the victim’s Kahului home. The incident reportedly occurred on June 18, 1978.  The victim was the stepbrother of Birano’s then fiancee, according to the report.

At the time of his sentencing for that crime, nearly 40 years ago, prosecutors had sifted up police records showing that since he was 13, Birano had reportedly been “involved in more than 100 offenses on Maui, including 65 theft cases, 33 of them involving cars,” according to an April 20, 1979 article in The Honolulu Advertiser.

In that same article, prosecutors had argued that Birano, who was 18 at the time of the offense, was “beyond rehabilitation,” while defense attorneys sought leniency, requesting that their client be considered as a youthful offender.

Birano was reportedly sentenced to 20 years in prison and was released on March 16, 2011.  Authorities with the Department of Public Safety say that prior to his release, Birano was out on parole for a five month period between Feb. 14, 2002 and July 22, 2002.

According to the Hawaiʻi Criminal Justice Data Center, Birano also has convictions on Maui from 1978 for second degree escape, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and second degree criminal property damage, all considered to be Class C felony crimes. He was also convicted of second degree escape again in 1998 on Maui. His record also shows Oʻahu convictions in 1981 and 1984 for second degree assault, in 1982 for second degree promotion of prison contraband; and in 2003 for second degree theft.

Raymond Birano, Jr. enters a not guilty plea in Second Circuit Court before Judge Peter Cahill. PC: (1.14.19) by Wendy Osher

Raymond Birano, Jr. enters a not guilty plea in Second Circuit Court before Judge Peter Cahill. PC: (1.14.19) by Wendy Osher

Raymond Birano, Jr. enters a not guilty plea in Second Circuit Court before Judge Peter Cahill. PC: (1.14.19) by Wendy Osher

Raymond Birano, Jr. enters a not guilty plea in Second Circuit Court before Judge Peter Cahill. PC: (1.14.19) by Wendy Osher

Raymond Birano, Jr. enters a not guilty plea in Second Circuit Court before Judge Peter Cahill. PC: (1.14.19) by Wendy Osher

Judge Peter Cahill oversees an Arraignment and Plea for Raymond Birano, Jr. in Second Circuit Court. PC: (1.14.19) by Wendy Osher

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