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Four men face sex assault charges


Tribune-Herald staff writer

A Kona grand jury on Aug. 13 returned indictments on sex assault charges against four men in separate cases.

A seven-count indictment charges 31-year-old Jeremy Jacob DeFrenchi of Kailua-Kona with kidnapping, unauthorized entry to a dwelling, two counts of first-degree sex assault and three counts of third-degree sex assault. All the offenses allegedly took place on Aug. 29, 2010. The document stated that DeFrenchi used “strong compulsion” to subject the victim, a minor girl, to sexual penetration and sexual contact and restrained the victim “with intent to inflict bodily injury” or commit a sexual offense.

A bench warrant set DeFrenchi’s bail at $10,000, ordered him to stay away from the alleged victim or the alleged victim’s family and to also stay away from Lokahi Apartments in Kailua-Kona.

According to court records, on March 18, 2003, DeFrenchi pleaded no contest to two counts of third-degree sex assault, and was sentenced by Kona Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra to six months in jail and five years probation. DeFrenchi was originally indicted on two counts of first-degree sex assault and one count of third-degree sex assault. The Tribune-Herald was unable to find him in the state’s online sex offender registry although court records indicate that he was ordered to register.

The second indictment charges 24-year-old Schayle Kigen Napua Hanato-Wells of Kailua-Kona with first-degree sex assault. The document alleges that Hanato-Wells “knowingly engaged in sexual penetration with a person who was less than 14 years old.”

A bench warrant set his bail at $15,000, ordered him to not contact the alleged victim, a girl, and bans Hanato-Wells from being in the presence of any minor without another adult present.

A search of court records found no prior felony convictions for Hanato-Wells.

The third indictment charges 28-year-old Eagle Adam Tobin of Hilo with second-degree sex assault. The document states that Tobin “knowingly subjected” the alleged victim, an adult woman, “to an act of sexual penetration by compulsion” on Dec. 28, 2011. According to a police spokeswoman, the woman awoke to find Tobin sexually assaulting her.

A bench warrant set Tobin’s bail at $5,000 and ordered him to stay away from the victim and Hapuna Beach Park. It also ordered him not to possess or consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to undergo random alcohol and drug tests.

According to court records, on March 13, 2009, Tobin pleaded no contest to violating a protective order. He was sentenced by Family Court Judge Melvin Fujino to 30 days in jail and two years probation.

The fourth indictment charges 45-year-old Charles Bruce Kanouff of Kailua-Kona with second-degree sex assault. According to the indictment, the victim, an adult woman was “mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless” at the time of the alleged assault, Oct. 30, 2010.

Court records indicate no prior criminal convictions in Hawaii for Kanouff, although the alleged victim and another individual filed for a temporary restraining order against him and another individual on Nov. 22, 2010. All parties agreed to a dismissal of the TRO on Feb. 22, 2011.

A bench warrant set Kanouff’s bail at $15,000, and orders Kanouff not to contact the alleged victim or the other individual who filed for the TRO. Kanouff was arrested Tuesday on the warrant, posted bail and was released. His arraignment is set for Sept. 18 in Circuit Court.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-


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