Sexual-assault case put on hold
Investigators continue to probe the alleged attack on a 4-year-old girl from Palama
Charges against a 32-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old in a backyard toolshed at her Palama home were dropped yesterday, but the investigation is continuing, prosecutors said.
On Thursday, police charged Shane Ngirmidol with first- and third-degree sexual assault and second-degree burglary in the May 7 incident. He was arrested on May 8 near Tamashiro Market based on a description from the victim.
Ngirmidol made an initial appearance in Honolulu District Court on Friday and entered a not-guilty plea.
Under the Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure, prosecutors have two working days from his initial appearance to proceed with the charges or they must release him.
Prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the charges, which was granted yesterday without prejudice, meaning the state can still refile charges at a later date.
Ngirmidol remains in custody at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, unable to post $500 bail on outstanding misdemeanor charges unrelated to the alleged sex assault.
He is being held on outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court on four misdemeanor matters that are set for trial Tuesday. The charges include two counts of fourth-degree criminal property damage, a petty misdemeanor; third-degree assault, a misdemeanor; and two contempt-of-court citations.
Tim Ho, chief deputy of the state Public Defender's Office, which is representing Ngirmidol on the misdemeanors, said defendants may be released for various reasons, including not enough evidence or to conduct further investigation.
In cases involving very young victims, the victim may not be competent to testify. Investigators may want to obtain physical evidence in lieu of having the victim testify, Ho said.
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle would not comment further on the case other than to say the charges were dismissed and the investigation is ongoing. He said he could not comment on an ongoing investigation.