Jury gets church official’s case
HILO » Four charges against Big Island church choir director Peter Bailey for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl amount to a case of "church leader sexually assaults church member," a prosecutor told jurors yesterday.
But Bailey's lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Melody Parker, said the girl's family greatly exaggerated the case, although the attorney acknowledged that Bailey was in "a very inappropriate situation."
Jurors began deliberations last night and were expected to continue today.
The alleged assault occurred the night of July 22, 2007, north of Hilo at the Hamakua Assembly of God, where Bailey took the girl for music practice.
The girl's 14-year-old brother went to the church and discovered his sister naked on the floor in a darkened room, with Bailey rubbing oil on her back, Deputy Prosecutor Mike Kagami said.
The boy ran to get his 31-year-old uncle, who testified he found Bailey performing a sexual act on the girl. Bailey was naked, Kagami said.
In defending Bailey, 50, Parker noted that the uncle told police on a 911 tape, "(Bailey) did not rape her."
Kagami said the uncle did not get that statement from the girl.
Bailey was charged with four acts, each constituting sexual assault in the first degree.
Parker said the girl described those four acts only later after being at the center of a situation "steeped in emotion" in which family talk might have suggested ideas to the girl.
At least one family statement was wrong, the testimony by the 14-year-old to a grand jury that his sister's hands were tied behind her back. The boy later said he assumed her hands were tied.
Circuit Judge Glen Hara told jurors that if they do not believe Bailey committed first-degree sexual assault, they may find he committed attempted first-degree assault, or third-degree assault involving touching, or they may acquit.
Parker said there is not enough evidence to sustain any of the charges. But Kagami said the fact that both the girl and Bailey were naked, and that Bailey had olive oil for a massage, showed that his acts were premeditated and at least an attempted assault.
Bailey and another man were convicted in 1979 of the murder of Carol Olandy, 18, on Oahu. His sentence called for him to remain in prison until 2014, but he was released in 2002.
The jury was not told about that, but Bailey is on parole and the case could be a factor in his sentencing if he is convicted.