East Hawaii News

Hilo Man Arrested, Charged For 23 Counts of Sex Assault Involving a Minor

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Paul Kanaina Kaelemakule Caitano

A Hilo man was indicted on more than 20 sex assault charges involving a minor this week.

A bench warrant was issued for 64-year-old Paul Kanaina Kaelemakule Caitano on Wednesday, April 27, after the indictment was filed in 3rd Circuit Court for 23 counts of sex assault involving a minor. The offenses allegedly occurred from 2014-18.

Caitano turned himself in Wednesday morning at the Hilo police station after being notified about the outstanding warrant.


According to a news release from the county prosecutor’s office, he was indicted on 12 counts of third-degree sexual assault, eight counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual assault and two counts of continuous sexual assault of a minor younger than 14 years old. The dates of the alleged offenses range from between February 2014 and February 2018.

The most serious offenses, first-degree sexual assault, are all Class A felonies, carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted.

Caitano appeared Wednesday in 3rd Circuit Court, where he pleaded not guilty. Judge Peter K. Kubota maintained bail at $500,000. According to the county prosecutor’s office release, the court denied a request by prosecutors to increase bail $630,000.


According to court records, Caitano posted bail Wednesday afternoon. A jury trial is scheduled for September.

According to the prosecutor’s office release, as part of the terms and conditions of his release, Caitano was ordered to stay away and not contact the minor complainant and anyone residing at the minor’s residence. He was also ordered to not contact any minor child, not reside in any residence with a minor and stay away from schools, playgrounds, parks, theaters or any place where unsupervised minors congregate. 

The investigation was handled by Detective Gavin Kagimoto with HPD’s Area I Juvenile Aid Section and Lt. BJ Sagon with HPD’s Kona Patrol and formerly with the Area I Juvenile Aid Section. The case is being prosecuted by county Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sylvia Wan.

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