February 8, 2016 | 75° | Check Traffic

Top News

Waipahu track coach acquitted of sexually assaulting student

  • GEORGE F. LEE/GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM2013 September 12 CTY - Honolulu School teacher and track coach Erik Tamura hugged his attorney Ken Shimozono following his acquittal today in the courtroom of Rom Trader on three counts of sexual assault on a teenager. HSA PHOTO BY GEORGE F. LEE
    GEORGE F. LEE/GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
    2013 September 12 CTY - Honolulu School teacher and track coach Erik Tamura hugged his attorney Ken Shimozono following his acquittal today in the courtroom of Rom Trader on three counts of sexual assault on a teenager. HSA PHOTO BY GEORGE F. LEE

A Circuit Court jury has acquitted a Waipahu High School track coach and teacher of sexually assaulting a girl on the track team in 2010 and 2011.

Erik Tamura  was accused of molesting the teenager during her sophomore and junior years at school and once at her home.

The jury returned its verdict this afternoon.The panel had been deliberating since Wednesday afternoon after hearing closing arguments.

He was on trial on three counts of third-degree sexual assault, and if convicted would have faced for each count a prison term of up to five years.

City Deputy Prosecutor Victoria Chang had told the jury that the teenager had no motive to lie in testifying about the embarrassing details of sexual assaults.

Tamura’s lawyer Kenneth Shimozono had maintained that the sexual assaults never happened and the girl’s motive to lie was that Tamura had stopped coaching her. The girl feared that her future in track would be jeopardized, Shimozono argued.

He said the case was about “teenage revenge.”  

Tamura, an English teacher who also had taught the girl, was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest in February 2012.  

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.