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20 support man accused of abuse


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POSTED: Friday, October 09, 2009

About 20 friends, family members and co-workers went to District Court to show their support for professional photographer Gerard Fernandez Mueden, accused of fondling two elementary school students during a photo shoot on campus.

; “;We're all in shock,”; said Milton Pang, a co-worker.

Mueden, 31, was in court for the first time yesterday to face criminal charges that he fondled two 10-year-old students at Lehua Elementary School in Pearl City last month while taking their school pictures.

His lawyer, Myron Takemoto, said Mueden denies the accusations and is also shocked and extremely hurt by them.

Mueden was at the school Sept. 22 as an employee of House of Photography when a 10-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl said he fondled them. He is charged with two counts of third-degree sexual assault.

Takemoto said Mueden has worked for House of Photography for about nine years and continues to work there but not in a capacity that could result in more accusations.

Mueden is free after posting $20,000 bail on Monday.