Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Saturday, February 17, 2001

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Celeste Flores appeared in court yesterday. She is
expected to give birth within a week.

Accused’s baby
likely to be
taken after birth

She and her husband are
accused of sexually assaulting
a girl, 13, who is also pregnant

By Debra Barayuga

A state judge has granted supervised release to a woman accused of being an accomplice in the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl by her husband.

Celeste Flores, 36, was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail since her arrest Feb. 5 on charges she sexually assaulted the girl. Flores is also accused of soliciting her husband to sexually assault the girl, who is now pregnant.

Flores' husband, Victor, 38, was indicted on 12 charges, ranging from first-degree to fourth-degree sexual assault.

Celeste Flores is also pregnant and expected to give birth within a week. She will be allowed to stay with a niece at her one-bedroom Aiea apartment under electronic monitoring, curfew and other strict conditions until the court decides otherwise.

Deputy public defender Debra Loy said Child Protective Services is expected to take the baby from its mother at birth without letting Flores see or bond with her baby. While under supervised release, Flores will at least have an opportunity to fight for visits with her new baby and her three other children who are now in state custody.

"The sooner she's out, the sooner she can earn visits with the children, reassure them and help them adjust to this," Loy said. If Flores remains in jail, she cannot run her business and make sure her debts are paid, Loy said.

The state took Flores' three children -- the youngest a 2-year-old -- when she and her husband were arrested Feb. 5. There has been no indication that the three children were harmed. The 13-year-old girl is also in Child Protective Services custody.

The state expressed concerns about her release, saying Flores faces serious charges with a potential for jail time and is a flight risk.

While she is a U.S. citizen, Flores is a resident of the Marianas Islands, grew up and runs a business there and has the support of her family, said Deputy Prosecutor Dean Young. A state judge had found earlier that a $250,000 cash-only bail was appropriate.

Young also had reservations that the responsibilities of being a sponsor may be too much of a burden for Flores' niece, who is in her 20s, just graduated from college and currently unemployed but looking for a job.

The Oahu Intake Services Center, which monitors pretrial detainees on supervised release also found the niece is eligible but not a viable sponsor.

While Judge Reynaldo Graulty was concerned that Flores has the means to flee and that being a sponsor entailed more than providing a place for someone to stay, he believed the conditions he laid out would ensure she remained here and make her court appearances.

Graulty set an April 24 hearing to review Flores' status after her child is born and to decide whether restrictions on her travel or other adjustments need to be made.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin