Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Rape charges dropped
against prominent actor

He allegedly used a stun gun on
the victims; four of 14 charges
were dropped

By Debra Barayuga


A prominent local theater actor and director who was to go to trial this week on felony charges he subdued a Waikiki prostitute with a stun gun and raped her had the charges dropped because she failed to show up for trial a second time.

But Gary Anderson is still set for trial in April on similar sex assault charges involving another prostitute, Natasha Markovina.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins yesterday granted the defense's request and dismissed four of 14 counts against Anderson for lack of prosecution, including one count of first-degree attempted sexual assault and three first-degree assault charges.

The dropped charges involved another complainant who has indicated to the state that she wants Anderson to be prosecuted and will testify but has failed to appear for trial despite firm trial dates being set, the last time in July.

"Based on her contact with the state, it doesn't appear she's avoiding or on the run," argued Deputy Prosecutor Paul Wong, who asked that the case not be dismissed with prejudice so that he can still take Anderson to trial if the victim contacts him and still wants to prosecute. He said while the complainant has made two other court appearances, she simply fails to keep a regular calendar.

The judge gave Wong two weeks to file for reconsideration of his ruling if the circumstances change. Wong had asked for 60 to 90 days.

Deputy public defender Todd Eddins argued that dismissing the case without prejudice would be "tantamount to another continuance" by the state.

Eddins said the government knew it was going to trial since July and has a duty to ensure its witnesses appear for trial.

In all, three women accused Anderson of subduing them with a stun gun before sexually assaulting them or attempting to sexually assault them and rob them on separate occasions between September 1997 and January 1998.

Anderson was arrested in January 1998 after one of the victims spotted him in Waikiki. Police say he had a stun gun on him when he was arrested.

Charges were dismissed early on involving the third victim.

Anderson, of Kaneohe, co-founded the theater group ASATAD -- "All Singing! All Talking! All Dancing!"

He faces at least 20 years in prison if convicted of the first-degree sexual assault charge.

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