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Man accused of sexually assaulting minors while on release in 2018 murder case

A 25-year-old man accused in a high-profile 2018 murder has been indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting two young girls while he was on supervised release.
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:15 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2021 at 12:58 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 25-year-old man accused in a high-profile 2018 murder has been indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting two young girls while he was on supervised release.

Kaniala Avilla-Rapoza was indicted by a Honolulu grand jury for two counts of third-degree sex assault. Prosecutors say he inappropriately touched two young girls at a relative’s home.

“He was sitting on a couch with these two minor children,” deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa DeMello said. DeMello said the incident happened Oct. 30, and the girls were ages 7 and 9.

DeMello said Avilla-Rapoza allegedly touched both girls under their panties.

“The two children ran into the house to tell one of their uncles what had happened and they reported this incident to the police,” DeMello said.

Avilla-Rapoza was on supervised release pending an ongoing murder case from 2018. He’s accused of fatally choking 19-year-old Nelibeth Albert, his high school sweetheart.

According to police, he then led investigators to her body, which was covered by brush in Wahiawa Freshwater State Park.

Shortly after the alleged murder, family members told Hawaii News Now that the two had met in the special education program at Leilehua High School.

They said both had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Avilla-Rapoza’s attorney, Myles Breiner, said the murder charge will be dismissed by reason of insanity at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 30. Court records show multiple evaluations by health professionals questioning Avilla-Rapoza’s fitness to stand trial.

Breiner says his client is innocent of the new charges, too. He is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 2.

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