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17-year-old charged as adult in Old A rape case

Updated: 
December 6, 2017 - 5:36pm

KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii County prosecutors have charged a 17-year-old boy as an adult in the reported rape of a woman at Old Kona Airport Park in September 2016.

Tyron Sigrah was officially charged on Nov. 24. He entered a not guilty plea Wednesday to multiple felony counts in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Robert Kim.

At 8:35 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2016, Hawaii police say, two boys allegedly approached a woman, punched and sexually assaulted her. Police added that the boys reportedly fled when confronted by an unidentified person.

Police arrested one suspect, a 15-year-old boy, one day later. He was later released into his parents’ custody, police said.

About a month after the alleged incident, residents gathered on Queen Kaahumanu Highway to wave signs to raise awareness about the reported sexual assault and other issues in the community, as well as to protest what appeared to be inaction in the police investigation. Those who took part in the event and knew the victim described her as a “really sweet girl” and a “very talented musician.”

Court documents filed Nov. 24 indicate, Sigrah, as a principal and/or accomplice, knowingly subjected another person to an act of sexual penetration by strong compulsion.

Sigrah is facing three counts of first-degree sexual assault; second-degree sexual assault; kidnapping; second-degree robbery; first-degree terroristic threatening; and third-degree sexual assault. West Hawaii Today does not name minors who are suspects in criminal cases unless they have been charged as adults.

A jury trial date has been set for April.

Deputy Prosecutor Sheri Lawson would not comment on possible co-defendants in the case.

Lawson said the case was filed in juvenile court in August or September of this year. She filed for a waiver of jurisdiction, which would move Sigrah’s case to Circuit Court where the teen would be tried as an adult.

The hearing for the waiver of jurisdiction started in October. It was continued to Nov. 24. The judge granted the waiver and Sigrah was taken into custody with bail set at $25,000.

Sigrah has since bailed out.

The prosecutor’s office has been unable to comment about the case until now because the defendant is a juvenile. Lawson said very rarely does the state seek a waiver. But when it does, it takes its obligation to the law seriously and won’t talk about cases until a judge rules to move the case to Circuit Court.

“Our hands are tied because of the age of the defendant,” Lawson said.

On Nov. 29, the 17-year-old appeared in District Court before Judge Margaret Masunaga for a preliminary hearing. Witnesses, including the female victim, testified. West Hawaii Today does not identify sexual assault victims unless they choose to go public.

After the hearing, Masunaga found there was probable cause to continue the case to Circuit Court for further proceedings.

“We’ve taken this case very seriously,” Lawson said. “The jury will determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant.”

Hawaii Police Department Maj. Robert Wagner said Wednesday he is happy the case is moving forward.

The charges Sigrah faces are four class A felonies, three class C felonies and one class B felony. According to Hawaii Revised Statutes, a class A felony carries a punishment of an indeterminate term of imprisonment of 20 years without the possibility of suspension of sentence or probation.

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