KEALAKEKUA — A 3rd Circuit Court judge has ordered the Hawaii Intake Service Center to further assess the risk of a teen, accused in a reported 2016 rape at Old Kona Airport Park, to determine if he is a danger to the community.
In the meantime, Judge Robert D.S. Kim lowered Samuel Latrik’s bail from $50,000 to $25,000 during a hearing Thursday morning. The decision to reduce bail was made in an effort of fairness as another defendant, Tyron Sigrah, facing the exact same charges, posted bail after a District Court judge reduced his bail from $50,000 to $25,000.
Sigrah has also since been required to check in regularly with Hawaii Intake Service Center.
“I want to make sure this isn’t about money, where a rich person can get out and a poor person cannot,” Kim said. “I wanted to make sure there were other alternatives.”
Latrik, 18, and Sigrah, 17, are facing sexual assault, terroristic threatening and kidnapping charges in connection to an incident at Old Kona Airport Park on Sept. 3, 2016. Hawaii Police say two boys approached a woman, punched and sexually assaulted her. Police added the boys reportedly fled when confronted by an unidentified person.
On Thursday afternoon, Art Souza, Hawaii Department of Education superintendent of the Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena complex area, confirmed both Latrik and Sigrah were students at Kealakehe High School. However, one of the teens has withdrawn and the other is in jail.
If either of them did return to school, Souza said, teachers would meet the educational needs of the teens, but it doesn’t have to be in a traditional setting.
“We have to do that — we want to do that,” Souza said. “But they (students) need to be responsible to the letter of the law.”
In the 12 years Souza has been superintendent, he said he hasn’t seen anything of this magnitude, with students facing adult criminal charges.
According to Lindsay Chambers, spokeswoman for Hawaii Department of Education, students charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty and therefore are still entitled to a public education.
Both teens went before a Family Court judge since the alleged crime was committed when they were juveniles. In both cases, jurisdiction was waived to adult court.
During Thursday morning’s bail hearing, Fe Hoota with the Hawaii Intake Service Center was called in by Kim to tell the court what factors were considered when the original assessment was made in Latrik’s case to maintain the prosecutor’s office recommended bail of $50,000.
Hoota said the assessment looks at risks of re-offending, nonappearance in court, or a danger to themselves or the community. At the time, the Intake Service Center felt the safety of the victim and media attention of the case were concerns.
“I think electronic monitoring would work to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble,” Hoota told Kim Thursday.
Since Latrik is still attending public school, Kim asked Hoota about the risk to students on campus if he were released.
Hoota said she couldn’t say because the Intake Service Center has not interviewed any teachers to see if they would be willing to make accommodations or how it would affect other students.
With that in mind, Kim ordered Hoota to do further assessment by contacting the school and determine what, if any, issues there might be if Latrik returned to campus.
“I will await further report and lower bail to $25,000,” Kim said.
The assessment is due back to the judge by Feb. 12.
As of press time Thursday, Latrik remained in custody.