Friday, April 23, 1999

Police failed to
investigate molester

By Harold Morse


Seven years ago, police received a report about a convicted child molester who was accused of sexually assaulting a young boy.

But they didn't follow up on the complaint.

This week, City Council Chairman Mufi Hannemann asked police to explain why they never investigated the accused man, Gilbert Martines.

Martines, 51, was arrested Saturday and charged with the attempted sexual assault of another boy April 11.

"We failed," Honolulu police Chief Lee Donohue said.

Donohue said police did not complete an investigation into the 1992 complaint, which involved an alleged incident in 1989.

Martines is being held on $100,000 bail in the recent case. The statute of limitations in sex assault cases is six years, so Martines cannot face charges in the 1989 case, Donohue said.

Donohue made no excuses and said police want to find out why the matter was mishandled.

In 1982, Martines was sentenced to a five-year term for sexually assaulting boys aged 12 and 15.

Hannemann said Wednesday people need to know why Martines wasn't arrested in 1992.

"Our department did not complete the entire process," Donohue said. "They did not confer with the prosecutor."

"We want to get to the bottom of this," the chief said. "We want to find out what went wrong, so it does not occur again."

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