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Mother who allegedly lied about abandoned baby to be arraigned

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 06:42 a.m. HST, May 02, 2013

The 21-year-old Makiki woman, who allegedly lied to police about finding a newborn baby at Sandy Beach, will be arraigned May 28 in District Court on a charge of filing a false police report.

Keala Simeona was arrested at HPD's main station at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday and released after posting $250 bail. Additional charges are not being pursued at this time, according to police.

Simeona initially told police on Sunday that she discovered the baby near the water after she heard several people screaming. Simeona took the unclothed baby to Queen’s Medical Center where it was determined that the infant girl was born about two or three weeks premature and weighed about 8 pounds.

After further questioning, police determined she was the mother of the baby and she was arrested and charged on Tuesday for false reporting, a misdemeanor which carries a maximum jail term of one year.

Initially, police had opened cases of abandonment and endangerment of a minor — both felony offenses.

After a hearing on Monday, Family Court will determine whether the baby will be returned to her family or if parental rights will be terminated. The Department of Human Services will ask the court to order Simeona, and any identified father, to submit to DNA testing.

The suspect could have avoided any criminal charges if the infant had been surrendered under a 2007 "safe haven" law that provides immunity from prosecution for dropping an "unwanted" baby at a hospital, fire station, police station or with emergency personnel if the baby is unharmed and less than 72 hours old. Anyone surrendering a baby in such a manner is not required to provide information.

No one has taken advantage of the law since it went into effect.

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bleedgreen wrote:
Arresting her only scares away others who may want to give their baby up for adoption. She made a mistake. No harm, no foul. She probably was unaware of the law. First time I heard of it.
on May 1,2013 | 09:47AM
kainalu wrote:
on May 1,2013 | 02:34PM
sayer wrote:
I agree. She was obviously scared and what good is there in charging her? She brought the baby safely to the hospital.
on May 1,2013 | 02:53PM
allie wrote:
Get her some help. Do not throw her in prison. She lacks any sense of Ohana but she needs mental help
on May 2,2013 | 11:03AM
A_Reader wrote:
I didn't know this law existed.... Give me the baby....case closed....
on May 12,2013 | 08:05PM
Nevadan wrote:
Obviously torn between not being able to care for the baby, and not actually abandoning the baby on the street. A bit of judicial compassion would help, not that she deserves it. It's all about the baby.
on May 1,2013 | 09:50AM
sayer wrote:
Somebody is just dying to adopt this baby, that's for sure. Let the poor girl go on with her life and give the baby to one of the many nice families wanting to raise a child.
on May 1,2013 | 02:56PM
allie wrote:
on May 2,2013 | 11:03AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Of all the news that is worth to print, the majority always focuses on the negative aspects of people's lives. Why does it always have to be bad news that attracts people? Of the thousands of wonderful births that go on in this State, we have to focus on the bad apple. Unfortunately that is what sells newspapers.
on May 1,2013 | 09:59AM
IAmSane wrote:
Then just read the "Vital Statistics: birth announcements" section if that's what you find interesting. Jesus.
on May 1,2013 | 12:53PM
BKauai wrote:
One look at her eyes tells the story... ICE.
on May 1,2013 | 10:02AM
cojef wrote:
She looks scared, just like a desperate mother would look like. Did some social work in the military during the occupation phase in Japan and as member of the Military Government had the responsibility to institutionalize waifs that hung around the railroad stations looking for hand-outs from passengers disembarking from the trains. They all had the haggard and desperate look, like fate handed them a raw deal. She looks forlorn and desperate. Pray for a better future for her.
on May 1,2013 | 10:40AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Yes, she does look scared and lost. Hope she gets help.
on May 2,2013 | 07:46AM
IAmSane wrote:
I'm pretty sure she was crying.
on May 1,2013 | 12:50PM
lookup wrote:
If she was using ice it would have shown up in the baby's blood. The baby was reported to be 8 lb. no ice baby is born that healthy. She probably was crying A Lot...she just delivered an 8lb. baby by herself ...she is frightened to death for herself and her baby. Stop trying to make a simple mistake by a frightened young woman out to be a terrible crime. Lets get behind our youth and support them and let then know that there is help out there for anyone who is in anykind of trouble. Maybe then we will not see so many suicides and stabings and shootings etc. by those who do not know how to deal with LIFE. And that is exactly what this situation is LIFE....AND LIFE MUST GO ON ... so how about giving her a chance to correct her mistake and find a way to move on!
on May 2,2013 | 10:03AM
june7 wrote:
She brought the baby to the hospital - that is what the Safe Haven Law requires. It *looks* like the only thing she did wrong was that she made up a story, instead of just saying "I'm leaving the baby under the Safe Haven Law." She was probably afraid; I hope she gets a break. Like Bleedgreen says, arresting her just scares away anyone who may want to give up their baby. We need more publicity about the Safe Haven Law so that this type of incident doesn't happen again.
on May 1,2013 | 10:29AM
kennie1933 wrote:
That's what I think, too! OK, so she made up a story, and it was a bad one. I'm guessing that she made it up this particular story because she felt guilty about wanting to abandon the baby so instead of admitting that she could not care for it, she made up a lie that would remove responsibility. She didn't put the baby in a dumpster like I've read happens, she didn't leave it on a doorstep randomly, she didn't drown it though could easily have done so at the beach. She took the baby to the hospital where proper care is guaranteed. I'm sure she did not know about the Safe Haven Law. I did not know about it until this article appeared.
on May 1,2013 | 11:29AM
olos73 wrote:
@kennie1933, I agree with most of what you say, except for "she didn't drown it though could easily have done so at the beach." There was a witness, Mr. Valanski who was in his van at the beach. He heard screams from the water, then went to investigate. He asked the woman if she was alright. She said she cut her foot. I'm not saying she intended to drown or leave the baby there, but, knowing that there is a witness who could identify her to police, maybe she had to do something else, like taking the baby to the hospital to keep out of trouble. She has a 4-year-old son, who I assume was born in a hospital, so why did she do this to her baby girl? I don't know. All this doesn't make sense.
on May 1,2013 | 11:59AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Maybe she did not know abut Ms. Valanski until he said something? I don't know. In any case, FEAR drives people to do crazy things. It's sort of like hit-and-run cases where a normally law abiding person hits another person and, out of FEAR, runs away. Most come forward later after guilt overwhelms them. But you are correct....perhaps after realizing there is a witness, she was forced to do the right thing.
on May 1,2013 | 12:18PM
olos73 wrote:
Agree, again.
on May 1,2013 | 12:22PM
silvangold wrote:
Wow....actually to me she looks like a very scared, unhappy girl who just got caught up in a "what do I do now" situation. like the other comments, she probably didn't know about any law....she CLEARLY didn't just abandon it to die out there on the beach....or anywhere else for that matter. Compassion would seem to be nice.
on May 1,2013 | 10:44AM
st1d wrote:
the safe haven law was designed to protect the innocent babies from being abandoned in streets or hidden in shallow graves. after seeing how this mother is treated, other mothers in similar situations may be frightened away from using safe havens.

for those who just want the mother punished because she lied to the police, think about this: 50% of all rape reports are lies. and yet nothing is ever done to those women.

on May 1,2013 | 10:59AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
She needs mental health counseling and support.....not jail time...
on May 1,2013 | 11:07AM
Mahalo wrote:
I commented when this first came out that she was probably the mother and was scared and didn't know what to do. Maybe they should have explained the law to her when she turned in the baby and maybe she would have fussed out. Most normal people who find a baby would call 911 not swoop it up and take it for a car ride to the hospital..
on May 1,2013 | 11:10AM
MichaelG wrote:
We need Planned Parenthood more now then ever.
on May 1,2013 | 12:05PM
Ripoff wrote:
poor baby girl..
on May 1,2013 | 12:29PM
Adam1105 wrote:
What would sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry do? He'd talk to her and try to help her. He wouldn't throw her into the criminal justice system. But that's all any body knows how to do these days.
on May 1,2013 | 12:30PM
kainalu wrote:
Yep. We're living in Orwellian's world now.
on May 1,2013 | 02:36PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Quick, put up those signs at all hospitals, fires tations and police stations explaining the law
on May 1,2013 | 04:53PM
MANDA wrote:
We don't have better things to do with our law enforcement dollars? C'mon prosecutor's office, spend the money on a criminal.
on May 1,2013 | 07:02PM
mrluke wrote:
Do I hear violin music somewhere....?
on May 1,2013 | 07:43PM
mrluke wrote:
To all these people tugging at their heart strings...She won't spend any time in jail. But... some things NEED to be determined by the Court.
on May 1,2013 | 07:46PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
I'll bet the State will try to get foster custody. Keala, your nightmare has just begun.
on May 1,2013 | 08:14PM
mikethenovice wrote:
20 seconds of fun. 20 years of responsibility.
on May 4,2013 | 04:47PM
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