Man guilty of attempted sex assault
HILO » A Big Island jury found Peter Bailey, 50, accused of inducing a 12-year-old girl to have sex with him last year, guilty yesterday of four counts of attempted sexual assault.
Bailey had been charged with four counts of engaging in sex acts with the girl.
Deputy Prosecutor Michael Kagami said outside the courtroom that the verdict apparently means jurors could not agree that the acts were completed.
Trial testimony indicated Bailey lured the girl to the Hamakua Coast Assembly of God, where he was music director, claiming there would be music practice. Instead, testimony indicated, he removed the girl's clothes and his own.
There was no testimony that he used force, but the girl testified that she was afraid. Family members interrupted Bailey while he was with the girl.
Deliberations lasted 2 1/2 days.
Reporters are normally free to ask jurors what their thinking was following a verdict, but that was not permitted yesterday because the jurors must meet again to weigh Bailey's sentence.
Kagami has asked the court to extend Bailey's sentence to life in prison with possible parole.
The grounds for doing so include Bailey's conviction of murder and other offenses in 1979; he was on parole when the sexual contact with the girl took place.
Without that extension, Bailey would face up to 20 years in prison on each attempted sex assault count, the same as if the jury had found him guilty of completing each act.
The law now requires a jury to hear evidence on whether an extended sentence is proper. If jurors make that determination, their finding would serve as a recommendation to trial Judge Glen Hara, but Hara could still impose a lesser sentence.
A date for a sentencing hearing by the jury has yet to be determined.
Kagami said jurors must decide whether a standard sentence of 20 years is enough to avoid a potential threat by Bailey to the safety of the public.
In deciding that question, they will consider three factors. One is his prior convictions. Another is that he has been convicted of multiple offenses in the present case.
The third could be psychological evaluations of Bailey. Those would require time for professionals to make assessments and therefore delay sentencing still further.
Meanwhile, Bailey's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Melody Parker, renewed her motion for a mistrial, although the judge already turned that down once.
Early in the deliberations, one of the jurors blurted out to other jurors her knowledge of Bailey's prior murder conviction -- information that was not presented at trial. Jurors must consider only evidence presented during the trial. The juror was replaced, but the judge refused to grant a mistrial.