UPDATE: DLNR Officer Charged with Sexual Assault
***Updated at 5:10 p.m. to include information from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.***
Thirty-nine-year-old Ethan Ferguson faces five counts of sexual assault.
Ferguson is Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officer for the State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources. He has held the position since June 27, 2013.
Authorities say that a female minor reported to police that she was at a Hilo beach park on Jan. 1 when the DLNR officer approached her and sexually assaulted her.
Ferguson was reportedly in uniform during the assault.
HPD arrested Ferguson, of Hilo, on Thursday. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock as detectives continued to investigate the incident.
On Friday morning, Ferguson was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.
Ferguson’s bail was set at $13,000. He remains at the cellblock as he awaits his initial court appearance, set for Monday.
DLNR officials say Ferguson has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the case.
DOCARE is conducting its own investigation into the alleged incident, and is cooperating with HPD.