Editor’s note: This story contains graphic content.
A 17-year-old girl testified Wednesday that she “could feel the tip” of a knife in her back as she was abducted in downtown Hilo early Saturday morning, taken to a Haili Street apartment, and forced to perform a sex act.
The teen took the witness stand in Hilo District Court during the preliminary hearing of 54-year-old Lawrence “Larry” Abiley, a registered sex offender charged with kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and third-degree sex assault. She sat with her head downward, not making eye contact with either the prosecutor or defense attorney during much of her testimony. The girl rocked from side to side in the chair and had to be asked to get closer to the microphone and speak up numerous times by both the prosecution and the defense.
Under direct examination by Deputy Prosecutor Shannon Kagawa, the youth said her cousin told her she could sleep over that night at her home in Wainaku. She testified that she was on her way there when she was approached near the Kress Cinemas on Kalakaua Street by a man she identified as Abiley.
“He asked me what was going down in Hilo town being there were cops over there,” the girl, whom the Tribune-Herald is not identifying because she is a minor and an alleged sex assault victim, said.
When Kagawa asked what happened next, the teen said Abiley told her “I should come with him.” The girl said she refused and Abiley again “told me to come with him and he pulled out a knife.” She said the knife had a red handle.
“What about the blade, was it open?” Kagawa inquired.
“Yes,” the minor replied.
She said the knife point was in contact with her back as Abiley escorted her on foot to a studio apartment on Haili Street near McDonald’s. She said she sat on the bed as Abiley stood over her with the knife at her neck and took off his pants. She said that she and Abiley were alone except for a cat, and Abiley asked her to touch him. The teen said after Abiley finished, he told her, “I’m gonna shower.”
“When he went into the shower and closed the door, I left,” she said. She said she didn’t have a cellphone, so she went to a pay phone at Masa’s Shell station and called the police.
Deputy Public Defender Michael Ebesugawa sought to impeach the teen’s credibility during cross examination.
“Were you in Hilo town because you were kicked out of your sister’s (and) cousin’s home in Wainaku that evening?” Ebesugawa asked.
“Yes,” the teen replied.
“… Now you were walking around alone. Is that right?”
“When you met the man in the area by the Kress, you indicated that there was some small talk made at first. At that time you did not see a knife in his hands. Is that true?”
“No, that is not true or no, he did not have a knife in his hands.”
“He didn’t have a knife in his hand.”
“… Wasn’t it true that this man invited you to come to his home?” Ebesugawa inquired.
“He didn’t invite me. He told me,” she answered.
After the teen testified the man pulled out the knife from a pocket the second time he told her to come with him, Ebesugawa asked if the knife was already open.
“I heard the snap,” the girl replied.
The hearing continues today at 2 p.m.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.