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Lawyer says Waipahu track coach is innocent of sexual assault charges

The lawyer for a high-school teacher accused of repeated sex assault against a student insisted Thursday he is innocent and will be acquitted.

Kenneth Shimozono, an attorney for Erik Y. Tamura, 37, of Wahiawa, issued a statement saying, “Mr. Tamura is 100 percent innocent of the charges.”

Tamura, the girls cross-country and track and field coach at Waipahu High School, made his initial appearance in District Court on Wednesday on three charges of third-degree sexual assault and is scheduled to appear in court again on March 5.

Tamura continued to work at the school and oversee his alleged victim at track practices nearly four months after the father and girl made their allegations to Vice Principal Corinne Fujieda in October, the father said.

He was place on paid leave Thursday after inquiries by the Star-Advertiser.

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