Suspected child predator taught computer classes at schools - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Suspected child predator taught computer classes at schools

Ryan Kawamoto Ryan Kawamoto

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - He went to Oahu schools and taught children about the various things you can do on a computer. But police say while Ryan Kawamoto himself was online, he went way too far. An undercover Internet sting caught the computer teacher allegedly planning a sexual encounter with a child.

At the time of his arrest, Kawamoto was the program manager for Ohana Komputer, a non-profit organization that goes to public and private school campuses to teach students computer skills.

Ohana Komputer says its goal is to provide computer literacy skills that enhance everyday life. But police say one of the organization's teachers, Ryan Kawamoto, 30, had an additional goal -- to hook up sexually with a child.

"I'm a reporter with Hawaii News Now," this reporter said at the suspect's Pearl City home.

"Oh, I know, but I don't want to talk about it," Theodore Kawamoto, suspect's father, said.

Investigators recently searched the suspect's home on Hoohulu Street and seized various computer equipment, including a web cam.

They say Ryan Kawamoto went online and performed sexual acts and had sexually-explicit conversations with an undercover officer, who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, and later arranged to meet the child in person at a business in Moiliili. When he showed up, officers were waiting.

"Can you tell us what you know about the case?" this reporter asked.

"I don't know," Theodore Kawamoto said. "We hired a lawyer."

Gigi Davidson runs Ohana Komputer from a home on Avon Way in Makiki. She left in tears, concerned about the future of her non-profit, but later released this statement about the suspect.

"It's our understanding that the incident in question did not involve company time or equipment. However, we have zero tolerance for illegal activity and take all steps possible to ensure safety for our clients and employees. In fact, we work with the schools to conduct thorough background checks on all employees," Davidson said.

Davidson says as of his arrest, Kawamoto is no longer employed by Ohana Komputer.

"We are in the dark ourselves, so we don't know what to say," the suspect's father said. "We don't know what happened ourselves."

The state Department of Education says the public schools that work with Ohana Komputer rent out classroom space for the group to conduct its classes.

Kawamoto's trial is tentatively set for January.

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