Three indicted in alleged abduction, sex assault

  • KAWAHIOKALANI HODSON
  • JOANNA LEI KAWELO
  • JOEL HANALEI WHITE
  • MISTY KAMELAMELA

HILO — Three of four individuals originally accused of the alleged abduction and sexual assault of a woman late last month in Puna have been indicted by a Hilo grand jury in connection with the incident.

A 10-count indictment filed June 20 charges 50-year-old Kahiwaokalani Recca Hodson of Keaau, also known as Kahiwa Hodson, with being an accomplice to first-degree sexual assault and second-degree assault, plus kidnapping, second-degree assault, first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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A six-count indictment charges 35-year-old Joanna Lei Kawelo of Pahoa with being an accomplice to first-degree sexual assault and first-degree terroristic threatening, plus kidnapping, first-degree assault, accomplice to and two counts of second-degree assault.

And another six-count indictment charges 32-year-old Misty Kamelamela of Keaau with being an accomplice to kidnapping and first-degree terroristic threatening, plus second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to police, a 36-year-old woman being treated at Hilo Medical Center reported on May 31 she had been abducted and held for several days at a home in Hawaiian Paradise Park. The woman alleged she was beaten, sexually assaulted and threatened with a firearm while at the home.

Police executed a search warrant on the house, which is on 29th Avenue.

A 40-year-old Waimea man, Joel Hanalei White, previously was charged with first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping in connection with the case. His charges were dismissed June 13 by Hilo District Judge Charles Hite at the request of prosecutors “in the interest of justice and for further investigation,” according to court minutes. The dismissal was without prejudice, which means charges can be refiled.

White, who is awaiting retrial in an unrelated attempted murder case in Kona, was not indicted.

Bench warrants have been issued for the arrests all three women on the indictments.

Hodson is free on $54,020 bail posted in Hilo District Court, although the bench warrant increases her bail by $5,000. Kawelo remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $47,000 bail. And Kamelamela remains in custody at HCCC in lieu of $36,000 bail.

White was released from custody at HCCC after his charges were dropped.

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The two most severe charges, first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping are class A felonies that carry a maximum prison term of 20 years upon conviction.

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

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