Officer witnesses fondling of girl
A man is arrested at a park that has seen its second sex assault in six months
A police officer on his meal break Wednesday witnessed a 56-year-old homeless man allegedly fondling an 8-year-old girl at a downtown Honolulu park.
The officer immediately arrested the man and, yesterday, authorities charged Paul Wailani Lincoln with one count of third-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree promoting of a dangerous drug.
The incident was the second alleged sexual assault of a child at the Beretania Community Park in six months. An 11-year-old girl was allegedly assaulted Nov. 22 by a group of boys.
On Wednesday, the girl was playing with other children on playground equipment at about 7:10 p.m. when Lincoln allegedly made inappropriate sexual contact with her, according to police.
Lincoln has eight prior felony convictions, Capt. Frank Fujii said.
Lincoln faces a maximum of five years' imprisonment and $10,000 in fines if convicted of third-degree sexual assault, a Class C felony. The drug charge also carries the same penalties.
Lincoln's bail was set at $15,000, and he remained in custody yesterday evening.
Fujii said the case appears to be strong since an officer witnessed the incident and was there to arrest him.
In the November case, four boys -- two 13-year-olds, a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old -- were arrested by police at their homes. A fifth boy, age 11, turned himself in to police about two hours later.
Fujii said the boys face potential charges of two counts of first-degree sexual assault, four counts of third-degree sexual assault, one count of third-degree assault and one count of attempted sexual assault.
Since the alleged assailants in the group assault are minors, the case remains sealed in family court.
"No playground is too safe," Fujii said, stressing that children should not be left unattended.
Police said there has not been a spike or increase in the number of sex assaults on juveniles.