Jury Finds Former Maui Jail Guard James Siugpiyemal Guilty of Sexual Assault


WAILUKU — A former Maui Community Correctional Center guard was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting an inmate while he worked at the jail three years ago.

A 2nd Circuit Court jury returned verdicts finding James Siugpiyemal guilty of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.

The jury found Siugpiyemal, 44, not guilty of two other charges of second-degree sexual assault.

The inmate, a 36-year-old Kihei woman, reported that Siugpiyemal had threatened to have her work furlough privileges taken away after he saw a photo of her wearing a bikini that she had posted on Facebook. He called her and the two exchanged text messages before she reported having sexual contact with Siugpiyemal on July 31, 2014, and Aug. 11, 2014, in her car at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.

During the second incident, she turned on a camera in her car to record a video, which was played during the trial.

The woman said she made the video because she didn’t think anyone would believe her.

“Even inmates like (the victim) deserve equal protection under the law,” Deputy Prosecutor Iwalani Gasmen said during closing arguments to the jury Friday morning.

She said that the video shows Siugpiyemal grabbing and putting his mouth on the woman’s breast and shows the two having sex. Afterward, Siugpiyemal is heard telling the woman, “Don’t tell anybody,” Gasmen said.

She said Siugpiyemal refers to a truck nearby and says, “I hope they don’t know you. I hope they don’t know me.”

“He knows he’s done something wrong,” Gasmen said.

At the time, the woman, who testified she has been incarcerated for most of her adult life, was close to being paroled from a 10-year prison term for first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, third-degree theft and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, Gasmen said.

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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