Kauai case of sex assault dismissed
LIHUE » Nine counts of sexual assault against a Kekaha man were dismissed last week after the victim gave conflicting statements on the witness stand, the man's defense lawyer said.
Joseph Sablan, 55, had been accused of having sex with an underage girl, a family member, starting when she was 9 and continuing until she was 15, said defense attorney Mark Zenger.
If convicted, he could have faced up to 100 years in prison, Zenger said.
But all charges were dismissed in an agreement with prosecutors after the victim testified and gave conflicting accounts.
Beginning last Tuesday, according to Zenger, the purported victim, now 18, lied repeatedly on the witness stand and admitted during cross-examination that testimony she gave to the grand jury and earlier in the day was false.
On Wednesday, Zenger moved to dismiss the case. Judge Kathleen Watanabe agreed but gave prosecutors the opportunity to re-indict Sablan.
Prosecutors declined comment on whether they would bring the case again.
"I don't lay this on the prosecutors," Zenger said. "They took this girl at her word."
However, he added, even the girl's mother had been ready to testify for the defense. The girl made her allegations to police in 2005.