Elderly home fondling suspect indicted

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A Kalihi man, accused of fondling elderly women at an assisted living facility in Kahala, was indicted on half a dozen counts of sexual assault Tuesday.

Prosecutors say there is a fourth victim. Because of the number of felonies in the indictment, the former Kahala Nui nursing aide could face an enhanced sentence if he's convicted.

After an Oahu grand jury indicts Mark Genetiano on six counts of third-degree sex assault, prosecutors go before a judge and tell him there are four female victims ranging in age from 89 to 92 years old.

"All the victims were in various stages of dementia, unable to fight back," Scott Spallina, deputy prosecutor, said.

The 24-year-old is accused of fondling the women's breasts while working as a certified nursing assistant at the Kahala Nui retirement community. Co-workers told investigators they witnessed the acts.

"Remarkably, he did this in front of other people," Spallina said.

In an exclusive interview last Friday, Genetiano's family defended him.

"It's really unbelievable because we know, it's not just because we're relatives of him, but we know his character as a person that he can not do that," Joan Flores, suspect's sister, said June 19th.

This case is being handled by the city prosecutor's Elder Abuse Justice Unit, which was formed last year to focus on cases involving people 60 years of age and older.

"We did this in response to the fact that certain victims require special attention," Spallina said. "Naturally, when we hear about any of these type of crimes, I mean, we realize that we're needed."

With a fourth alleged victim in the mix, we ask prosecutors if there could be additional victims. They say they can not comment on the investigation.

Third-degree sex assault is punishable by up to five years in prison. But if Genetiano is convicted on multiple counts, prosecutors say they could seek an extended term of 10 years.

"We hope that more people, if they're aware of crimes happening, to let us know because these crimes have to stop," Spallina said.

The next step for Genetiano is his Circuit Court arraignment, where he'll enter his plea. The date hasn't been set.