Tuesday, January 12, 1999

Lawyer wants
sexual assault charges
against Shawn
Schweitzer dismissed

By Rod Thompson


HILO -- A charge of sexual assault of a teen-age girl against former Dana Ireland murder suspect Shawn Schweitzer should be dismissed because of improper action before the Hawaii County grand jury, Schweitzer's lawyer says.

Schweitzer was indicted on the same day in 1997 for both the murder of Ireland, 23, in 1991, and the unrelated sexual assault on the girl, 15, in 1992, attorney Harry Eliason says in court documents.

Murder, sexual assault, and kidnapping charges against Schweitzer, 23, and his brother Albert Ian Schweitzer, 27, for the attack on Ireland have since been dropped without explanation.

The alleged victim of the unrelated sexual assault, identified only as C.D.C., told authorities she voluntarily had sex with Schweitzer.

When she began to cry at the beginning of her testimony to the grand jury, the prosecutor stopped her and substituted the testimony of her twin sister, whose only knowledge was what the alleged victim told her, the documents say.

"This case is plainly a clear abuse of the grand jury system by the prosecutor," Eliason said in the documents.

C.D.C. told authorities three different versions of what happened, the documents say.

First she said a stranger attacked her by the side of a road. Then she said Schweitzer attacked her at a house. Finally she said she willingly had sex with Schweitzer.

In addition to C.D.C. changing her story, Detective Rodney Aurello testified he believed she was lying about the case and closed it, the documents say.

But social worker Tracey Lambe said teen-agers often change their story if adults don't believe them.

The prosecution also confused the issues before the grand jury by refering to the religion of C.D.C.'s mother, who is a Jehavoh's Witnesses, the documents say.

Eliason filed the request to dismiss the case in December, 1997. Judge Greg Nakamura will finally hear it Friday at 11 a.m.

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