Taxpayers to fund defense for retired detective linked to wrongful conviction case
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu taxpayers will foot the bill for a retired HPD detective who helped prosecute a man for a sexual assault that he didn’t commit.
Roynes Dural is suing former detective Sheryl Sunia, along with the city, the woman who accused him, and her family members.
Dural’s civil lawsuit accuses Sunia of conducting a biased and shoddy investigation. The court record also says she ignored DNA evidence and tampered with a recorded interview that she conducted with a man who admitted to having sex with the underage girl.
On Wednesday, City Council members approved a taxpayer-funded legal defense for Sunia.
Dural’s attorney, Myles Breiner, said it is common practice in cases like this for the city to pay the attorney’s fees.
“You want to encourage people to go into public service and you don’t want them to worry that anything they do, so long as it’s in the course and conduct of their responsibilities working for the public, they should get the coverage,” he said.
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Dural’s conviction for sex assault was overturned and all charges were dismissed in 2019, after he had already served eight years in prison and eight years on parole.
His military career was cut short by the false allegations and imprisonment.
Hawaii News Now did reach out to Sunia for comment Wednesday afternoon, but did not receive a response.
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