EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 28-year-old Ewa Beach man has been indicted in the first promotion of prostitution case in Hawaii to be charged as a Class A felony, Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro announced today.
An Oahu grand jury Tuesday indicted Isaiah Black on three counts of promoting prostitution in the first degree. The offense is punishable by 20 years in prison.
In 2011, Prosecuting Attorney Kaneshiro introduced legislation that shifted the focus of enforcement in prostitution cases to sex traffickers and encouraged victims to come forward. State lawmakers responded by upgrading promotion of prostitution in the first degree to a Class A felony and moving to authorize witness protection for victims willing to testify against their pimps.
"The approach of my office has been to go after the people who profit from prostitution," Kaneshiro said. "In cases where prostitutes have been coerced, they are victims as well."
Also in 2011, promoting prostitution in the second degree was upgraded to a Class B felony - which carries a 10-year prison term - and the offenses of prostitution and solicitation of prostitution were expanded to include patrons of prostitution, or "johns."
Promotion of prostitution in the first degree alleges that a person advances prostitution by forcing, threatening or intimidating a person into engaging in prostitution, or profits by such conduct.
Bail was confirmed at $100,000 for Black.
According to his Facebook page, he is a liaison officer in the U.S. Army.