Preliminary hearing set in rape case
Peter Bailey, 49, of Laupahoehoe, is charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault against a 12-year-old girl
» Alleged sexual assault shocks family of murdered teen
HILO » A preliminary hearing was set for Hilo District Court tomorrow in the case of Peter Bailey, 49, of Laupahoehoe, charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault against a 12-year-old girl at a Hilo-area church Sunday.
Bailey is being held in lieu of bail, maintained at $300,000 by District Judge Ben Gaddis.
Police announced Tuesday that Bailey was arrested at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday after a relative went to the Hamakua Coast Assembly of God church in Pepeekeo, north of Hilo, witnessed the attack and ran for help.
"Other family members responded to the church and detained Bailey until police arrived," police said.
The announcement lacked details, and acting Lt. John Ancheta said the fact that the alleged crimes involved sex and a minor made it doubly difficult for police to provide further information.
Court documents said Bailey picked up the girl to take her to choir practice, but Ancheta could not say whether there was choir practice that night.
A neighbor who declined to give his name said he returned home to see police cars and an ambulance at the church, but only three other cars.
Regarding how Bailey knew the girl, Ancheta said he could reveal only that the girl was "familiar with" Bailey.
The neighbor asked, "Why would you let a stranger take your kid?"
According to documents, the girl told police that Bailey pulled her shirt over her head, rubbed oil on her breasts and fondled them.
The documents name a witness who saw Bailey having oral sex with the girl in the rear office of the church. Ancheta declined to say whether that was the same person who ran for help.
The girl also told police Bailey molested her with his fingers and raped her.
The documents noted that Bailey's right eye was bruised when police arrived. Ancheta said police did not inflict the injury, adding, "People get a little upset about these things."
Bailey was treated at Hilo Hospital before being charged.
Telephone messages left at the church were not answered.
The preliminary hearing tomorrow will determine whether there is enough evidence to continue to hold Bailey. Such hearings usually fill in gaps in the initial information.