Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Police rushed to arrest
man for rape, lawyer says

An attorney questioned yesterday whether police had probable cause to arrest a man accused of breaking into an 85-year-old woman's Old Waialae Road home and raping her.

Defense attorney Victor Bakke said police made a "rush to judgment" when they arrested and charged his client, David Baldaino, with the rape.

Baldaino, 37, was indicted yesterday on first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping and first-degree burglary charges in the March 12 attack. He has prior convictions on Kauai for sexual assault and burglary.

Police say he was identified as a potential DNA match with evidence recovered from the scene and arrested him March 18 on three counts of failing to update the state's sex offender registry with his new address. He was re-arrested March 31 after police confirmed a match of DNA at the rape scene with a sample of blood Baldaino provided. He lived down the street from the victim.

"All they have is a potential DNA match and some blood thing which isn't DNA," Bakke said. "They don't have enough at this point to convict my client or anybody on what they have."

More independent testing, which may take weeks, is required to determine a positive DNA match, he said.

In her request for bail to be confirmed at $500,000, Deputy Prosecutor Vickie Kapp told the court that Baldaino is accused of breaking into the woman's home, choking and raping her. She said Baldaino later denied doing so.

Circuit Judge Derrick Chan confirmed bail at $500,000. Bakke said he intends to ask the court to reduce the bail.

E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com