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Hawaii teacher accused of child sex assault, child porn crimes to remain behind bars

Prosecutors argues he was a flight risk due to family in the Philippines, and a danger to the community.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:53 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:05 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pearl City High School substitute teacher accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy during school lunch breaks will remain behind bars at least until late July.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 34-year-old Alden Bunag is a danger to the community and a flight risk.

“We have concerns based on Mr. Bunag’s ties to the Philippines. If he was released he could pose a flight risk to the Philippines,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Perlmutter said in a detention hearing.

Bunag’s attorney, Jacquelyn Esser, said that her client had no criminal records but agreed to his remaining in custody in the Federal Detention Center without bail until late July when a new detention hearing can be held.

Bunag’s parents are expected to return from a trip from the Philippines then and she said he can be placed under their supervision.

Bunag has worked as a substitute teacher for the Department of Education for a decade. Most recently, he was a part-time temporary teacher at Pearl City High School this year and last.

Before that, he worked at Ilima Intermediate.

“Teachers that prey on the kids ... I think are the most despicable because they’re the people that we’ve trusted to have custody of the kids,” said attorney Mark Gallagher, who has handled a number of lawsuits against child sex offenders.

Prosecutors alleged Bunag recorded his alleged sex assaults against his former student. He then exchanged the videos with another teacher in Philadelphia who was also charged with distributing child pornography, they said.

“The Internet certainly has facilitated these crimes. The use of the Internet has increased dramatically the amount of child pornography that’s out there, it has increased the distribution network to it,” Gallagher said.

“It has allowed people to hide in plain sight through pseudonyms and trade information with people thousands of miles away. It has also allowed pedophiles to victimize children in plain sight.”

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