Former Puna man extradited to face sex assault charge

  • RODOLFO RIOS
  • JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald Rodolfo Rios, right, appears Friday with attorney Donald Wilkerson in Hilo Circuit Court.

HILO — A former Puna man accused of sexually assaulting a minor for a two-year period pleaded not guilty Friday.

Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ordered Rodolfo Rios, who now lives in Las Vegas, to appear for trial at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 4 before Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto.

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Rios, 38, was indicted June 5 by a Hilo grand jury. He was booked by Hilo police on the charge at 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to a police log.

According to the indictment, Rios “did intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engage in three or more acts of sexual penetration or sexual contact with the minor,” who is identified by initials only, between April 26, 2011, and April 27, 2013.

The alleged victim was born in 2005, according to the document.

Rios’ attorney, Donald Wilkerson, asked the court to free Rios on court-supervised release without cash bail being posted.

“Mr. Rios has been living in Las Vegas for the past six years, Your Honor, Wilkerson said. “The allegations in this matter allegedly took place between 2011 and 2013. And although he was extradited to come back here, he waived his right to a proceeding in Las Vegas and immediately made arrangements to come over here. He’s not a flight risk. … He has a steady job.”

Deputy Prosecutor Shannon Kagawa requested the court maintain Rios’ bail at $50,000, as previously set by a judge for the bench warrant accompanying the indictment.

“Defendant was extradited from Las Vegas for this matter. It is a serious felony; it is a (Class) A felony,” Kagawa said.

The judge maintained bail for Rios, who appeared in police custody, at $50,000.

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Continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14 is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction.

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

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