Trial underway for HPD officer accused of sexually assaulting prostitute

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Waikiki prostitute who alleges that a Honolulu police officer sexually assaulted her at his apartment in July 2009 took the witness stand at his trial Thursday.

Officer Michael Tarmoun, 37, is charged with second-degree sex assault, a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The defense acknowledges that Tarmoun took the woman to his apartment, but says he kicked her out when he realized she was a prostitute.

But the woman testified that they discussed how much her sexual services would cost after she got into his Nissan Sentra. She says the service he wanted would cost him $500.

"He said that money was no problem," she told jurors.

When they got to his apartment building, she says she saw a police uniform, a badge, a bullet-proof vest and a "walkie-talkie" in the trunk of his car.

She says she tried to get out of having sex with him when she realized that he was an officer. She says she was afraid that he was going to arrest her.

"I said, 'You're a f***** cop. What are you going to do?'" she testified. "He said, 'Nothing if you do what I say.'"

She says they had sex on a twin bed in one of his bedrooms, and then he had her rinse off in the shower.

During cross examination, defense attorney William Harrison pointed out inconsistencies between the accuser's testimony now and the statement she gave police eight months after the alleged encounter.

"When I gave that statement, things were still kind of blurry for me and I was under a lot of stress," the woman said.  "So I probably didn't remember every little detail."

"You're telling this jury that you were still under stress eight months later?" Harrison asked.

"Yes," the alleged victim replied.

The woman says when the officer dropped her back off in Waikiki, he gave her $5 for food.

"Were you kind of upset at that point that he only gave you $5?" Harrison asked.

"I was upset the simple fact that he was a cop and he did what he did to me," the woman replied.

The trial continues Friday.

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