Newswatch


By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, May 17, 1997



CROWN JEWEL

Associated Press
Brook Mahealani Lee waves to the audience
after she was crowned Miss Universe.



Hawaii's Brook Mahealani Lee
wins the Miss Universe pageant

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Brook Mahealani Lee has been on a roll since winning the Miss Hawaii USA title on her third try.

Lee, 26, a dancer and model from Pearl City, went on to capture the Miss USA crown in February. Friday night, she was crowned the 1997 Miss Universe.

"I was a wreck," Lee said afterward of what was going through her mind while waiting for the announcement with two other finalists. "I was out of control.

"I was thinking Miss Venezuela was going to make a very good Miss Universe," added Lee, a 1989 Kamehameha Schools graduate currently on sabbatical from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where she's pursuing a master's degree in communications.

Venezuela's 23-year-old Marena Bencomo was the first runner-up, while 24-year-old Margot Bourgeois from Trinidad and Tobago was second runner-up.

Lee says she likes alligator wrestling, stomping in rain puddles and drawing with crayons in coloring books. The new Miss Universe also noted she would like to interview golfing star Tiger Woods someday.

Miss Philippines, Abbeygale Williamson Arenas, was named most photogenic. Her award was voted on by people who visited the pageant's World Wide Web site on the Internet.

Carlisle wants to keep
fees assessed to criminals

Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle is looking for other ways to make criminals pay after a judge ruled the city can't slap a fee on someone who isn't deriving any benefits from it.

The ruling by Circuit Judge Wendell Huddy Friday nullified the $250 "criminal fee" assessed on convicted car burglar Charles C. Medeiros. Huddy sentenced Medeiros, 30, to five years in prison but dismissed the fee.

Huddy's decision prevents the city from assessing the fee on other convicts. It had been levied on those convicted of felonies or misdemeanors.

But Carlisle said Huddy left the door open for the city to ask for "costs" from convicted felons during sentencing.

"So that's something that I want to take a look at and explore and see just where we think that's going to play out," he said.

Megan's Law may endanger
parolees, convicted rapist says

A paroled rapist fears the new law that gives the public access to home addresses of sex offenders could make him a victim of violence.

Schuyler DeCaires, who spoke yesterday at a community forum, said the friends and relatives of rape victims could target their anger at him or other paroled sex offenders after the law takes effect July 1.

"I hope that never happens," DeCaires said after the forum at the Ala Wai recreation facility.

The state version of Megan's Law requires convicted sex offenders to supply authorities with identifying information, including current address, phone numbers, vehicle registration and photo. They face a misdemeanor offense if they fail to comply.

It also allows the public access to the information, which has potentially positive and negative consequences, experts say.



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