Police Look to Surveillance Video in Kalihi Sex Assault Case

James Wayman
James Wayman

KALIHI (KHNL) -- A Kalihi company's desire to protect itself from break-ins may've helped Honolulu police in a high-profile sex assault case. Now, the accused is a free man.

"They were looking right out there, which is a view straight out to Hart Street," James Wayman, Lion Coffee president, said.

It's a $50,000, high-tech surveillance system that captures what happens at Lion Coffee in Kalihi all day, every day.

"We're in little bit of a rough neighborhood," Wayman said. "So we have signs all around the perimeter of the building, letting anyone know that might think about breaking in that we're under 24-hour camera surveillance."

A camera on the back of the building may've provided police crucial information in a sex assault case.

Last week, a woman told investigators a man forced her into his car after her own car broke down, drove to Hart Street behind Lion Coffee, and sexually assaulted her.

"Our system will record images for up to 30 days," Wayman said. "So we were able to go to the date and time that they wanted to take a look at."

Police now say, "The female who reported being kidnapped and sexually assaulted in Kalihi has withdrawn her complaint. The male who was arrested has been released. Further action on this case is being evaluated."

"It's just a personal decision that someone has made, and that I think everybody has that right to decide, even after reporting, if they want to withdraw their complaint, that they can do so," Adrianna Ramelli, Sex Abuse Treatment Center, said.

"I can't even describe, it almost brings tears to my eyes because we were able to help," Wayman said.

Police say the accused and his accuser appear to know each other. They would not say whether they're looking into false reporting on the part of the woman.