Puna man accused of sexually assaulting minor

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HILO — A 38-year-old Keaau man is accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl.

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HILO — A 38-year-old Keaau man is accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl.

Christopher R. Laboy was charged Wednesday with three counts of first-degree sexual assault of a minor and single counts of third-degree sexual assault and second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.

He is free after posting $51,000 bond, according to the state Department of Public Safety website.

According to court documents, Laboy “knowingly engaged” in sexual contact and sexual penetration of the minor on Aug. 8. Documents state Laboy provided the minor with marijuana before the alleged sexual assault, which authorities say occurred in Puna.

Laboy was still in custody when he made his initial court appearance Friday.

Deputy Prosecutor Sylvia Wan described Laboy as “possibly a flight risk as well as a danger to the community” and asked Hilo District Judge Peter Bresciani to maintain Laboy’s bail.

“The state would also note the defendant does have a prior felony conviction for assault in the first-degree in 2011,” Wan told the judge, and added that Laboy’s probation on that conviction was revoked in 2014.

Deputy Public Defender Jiro Yuda requested that Laboy, who’s described in documents as an unemployed laborer, be freed on supervised release or that his bail be reduced.

“Judge, I’m not sure how the state arrives at the conclusion that Mr. Laboy is a heightened flight risk,” Yuda said.

“I would think it would be around the idea that he has done poorly enough on probation to get his probation revoked … and it’s a serious charge with a high probability of prison, if convicted,” Bresciani replied.

Bresciani maintained Laboy’s bail and also approved a request to take photos in the courtroom, but in a rare move, said his decision applied only to Friday’s hearing and not to any subsequent court proceedings.

“Given the nature of the case, I want to take the issue … on a hearing-by-hearing basis as to what’s appropriate for each hearing,” the judge said.

Bresciani ordered Laboy to return for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. today.

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The Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today don’t identify alleged sexual assault victims, whether adults or minors, unless an alleged adult victim chooses to go public.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.