71-year-old Kona psychologist indicted for sexual assaulting minor under his care
Clinical psychologist Reuben Lelah, 71 of Kailua-Kona, was indicted on Friday for sexually assaulting a minor he was treating between June and December in 2019.
Lelah, who is the president of the nonprofit Loving Service Foundation, specializes in treating children and teenagers who are dying or are chronically ill, as well as youth with mental illness.
Lelah was arrested on Thursday afternoon by the Kona Sheriff’s Division. He made his
initial appearance in Kona Circuit Court on Friday morning, pleading not guilty. His bail was set at $40,000. A jury trial is set for Nov. 21, 2023.
Lelah is charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault (for sexual penetration with a minor aged 14 or 15) and two counts of third degree sexual assault (sexual contact with a minor aged 14 or 15). The victim was born in 2005.
The Loving Service Foundation was established in 2005 and is on 22.5 acres on Hualālai Mountain, with 80% of its patients from a “relatively poor rural area of Hawai’i and from disadvantaged populations,” according to its website.