Hearing set to determine sex assault suspect’s fitness to proceed

  • Justin T. Mariano appears Thursday in Kona Circuit Court. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — A contested hearing over doctor’s reports regarding the fitness of a man accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been set for late January.

The four doctors who evaluated Justin Taylor Mariano for fitness to proceed with trial will be called to testify during the Jan. 31 hearing before Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim. The hearing, typically requested when the opinions of the doctors differ, was requested by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Annaliese H. Wolf with no objection of Mariano’s counsel, Deputy Public Defender Ann Datta.


Mariano, who was a high school student over the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offenses, was charged with one count of continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14, four counts first-degree sexual assault, and one count third-degree sexual assault.

The alleged assaults took place between November 2018 and February 2019, per the indictment. The victim’s family, whom West Hawaii Today is not identifying to protect the victim, said they happened on the Konawaena High School campus.


Continuous sex assault of a minor and first-degree sex assault are class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Third-degree sex assault is a class C felony that carries five years imprisonment, upon conviction.

Mariano is currently free on $20,000 bail.

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