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Mother who allegedly lied about abandoned baby to be arraigned

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED: 09:24 a.m. HST, May 01, 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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