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Woman, girl testify in Hilo Peeping Tom case



HILO >> The woman and girl who were allegedly recorded by a Hilo man while they were using public bathrooms say they were horrified to see a cell phone peering up at them from under a stall partition.

Faavae E. Tuinei

The 24-year-old and 13-year-old testified Thursday at Faavae Tuinei’s District Court preliminary hearing. Tuinei remains in custody on $20,000 bail, charged with two counts of invasion of privacy.

Police seized the phone, which contained a video recording of a female using the restroom and showed Tuinei’s face, Det. Grant Todd said. 

Tuinei, 35, couldn’t be reached for comment today at Hawaii Community Correctional Center, where he remained in custody on $20,000 bail. He is charged with two counts of invasion of privacy.

"I reached over for toilet paper, and I saw a phone slip under the stall," the woman testified. "I screamed." She was using a public bathroom at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. 

The woman said she told two men what she saw, and they went into the restroom to confront him. One of the men, Lance Orita, testified Tuinei pushed back against the stall when they tried to open it. The two men confronted him outside, and police said he ran off.

About an hour later, Tuinei allegedly used his phone to record the girl at a shopping center, police said. The girl testified she saw a phone being held by a man under the stall while she was using the bathroom at Puainako Town Center. 

Her cousin’s boyfriend chased Tuinei from the restroom, the cousin testified. Police said the boyfriend physically restrained Tuinei. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the boyfriend didn’t testify because he faces a possible assault charge. 

Tuinei’s police mug shot shows him with a battered face. 

Police Lt. Gregory Esteban told the Star-Advertiser earlier this week that Tuinei sustained injuries "as a result of a physical confrontation between the relative and the suspect." The man who detained Tuinei was not hurt, he said. Police did not arrest the 25-year-old Hilo man, but initiated a third-degree assault case that will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, Esteban said.


Tuinei next court appearance is scheduled for April 19. 


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