Super Bowl stabbing victim returns to push for victims rights - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Super Bowl stabbing victim returns to push for victims rights

Nicholas Iwamoto Nicholas Iwamoto
Benjamin Davis Benjamin Davis
Stacy Evensen Stacy Evensen
Marsalee "Marcy" Ann Nicholas Marsalee "Marcy" Ann Nicholas
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

For many people, Super Bowl Sunday is a time to celebrate. But for former Oahu resident Nicholas Iwamoto, it's a reminder of what happened to him in 2009.

"Today is the seven-year anniversary of getting stabbed while I was hiking. But it's also my 30th birthday, so that's a big moment," said Iwamoto in the parking lot of Koko Head District Park on Sunday.

Iwamoto was stabbed 18 times at the top of the Koko Crater Trail on Super Bowl Sunday seven years ago. His attacker, Benjamin Davis, was acquitted by reason of insanity.

A circuit court judge last month allowed Davis to be released from the Hawaii State Hospital into a halfway house. Iwamoto believes he should have been informed before that decision was made. And that's why he's supporting a crime victims rights bill, known as "Marsy's Law," in Hawaii.

"We want the same rights afforded to the criminals who have done deplorable things to us and our families," he said.

If victims had those rights in Hawaii, "Nicholas would have been informed of his rights to be notified. He would have known when the court proceedings were taking place and be allowed the opportunity to be present," said Stacy Evensen, campaign manager for Marsy's Law in Hawaii.

The law is named after Marsalee "Marcy" Ann Nicholas. The California woman was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Her family unexpectedly encountered her accused murderer in a store because they didn't know he had been released on bail pending trial.

The bill before Hawaii lawmakers would put victims rights in the state constitution, as already done in 32 states. Those rights are currently part of state law.

"But these rights, being in the state law, are essentially not enforceable," said Evensen. "And what that means is if they're not provided to victims, there's no recourse."

Iwamoto moved away from Oahu, in part because of the pain he and his mother endured in the aftermath of the stabbing. But he has made sure to return to convince lawmakers to pass the bill. He'll testify when the state House and Senate judiciary committees take up the bill on Tuesday.

"It's too late for me and for other victims, but it's not too late for future generations," he said.

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