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New trial set for Peter Bailey


Tribune-Herald staff writer

A convicted murderer accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl will stand trial again in May.

Peter Kalani Bailey, 56, was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 20 years in prison on four counts of attempted first-degree sexual assault. The state Supreme Court overturned the conviction and sentence in March 2012, stating Bailey should have been granted a mistrial after a juror exposed his prior murder conviction to fellow jurors during deliberations.

Bailey, along with his court-appointed attorney Keith Shigetomi of Honolulu, met retired Deputy Prosecutor Ricky Roy Damerville in Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara’s courtroom Friday morning.

The defense made a motion to dismiss the indictment or in the alternative to reduce the charge, and another motion to dismiss the indictment for an alleged violation of his right to a speedy trial. Hara denied both motions.

Hara then proceeded to discuss possible trial dates, at which point Bailey waved his rights for a speedy trial so that his attorney would have more time to prepare for court. His new trial is set at 10 a.m. on May 27, 2014.

The alleged sexual assault took place on July 22, 2007, at the Hamakua Coast Assembly of God Church where Bailey was working as a choir director.

The Tribune-Herald previously reported that the victim’s brother, 14 at the time, went to the church where Bailey had taken the girl to practice singing. Upon arrival, he allegedly found Bailey and the girl naked.

The brother then ran to their uncle’s house, who later testified that he rushed to the church with two other men, pulled Bailey off the girl and detained him until police arrived.

At the time, Bailey was on parole for a 1979 conviction of murder, kidnapping and robbery in the shooting death of a 17-year-old Oahu girl.

He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 2014, however, a subsequent panel reduced his minimum sentence and he was released in 2002.

The victim’s family later filed a civil suit against Bailey and the church claiming the girl “suffered serious and grievous personal injuries and mental and emotional distress” and that the mother and brother of the girl suffered “substantial and/or permanent emotional distress.”

Damerville, who was asked to assist in the case temporarily, said he believes the trial will not face the same issues it did in 2009.

“Time has passed, memory fades, and I think we’ll be able to get a fair trial,” he said.

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