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Hawaii News

Man charged in sexual assault finished jail term 1 day earlier

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  • Charles Cowan

A prosecutor says a man accused of a violent sexual attack on a woman in the dressing room of a Maui store had been released from jail the day before.

Charles Cowan is charged with kidnapping and sexual assault. Police said he dragged a 33-year-old woman into a dressing room at a Maui Mall store Friday, where he forcibly took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her.

Police said he punched and choked her when she tried to escape. The woman screamed, alerting others, and the man ran.

The woman was taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she was treated and released, police said. Her injuries included lacerations and abrasions to her mouth, a laceration to her left foot and redness and scratches to her upper chest and neck, the Maui News reported.

A judge increased Cowan’s bail Monday to $500,000 from $100,000. Cowan remained in custody Tuesday at the police station in Wai­luku.

Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Coccaro said the attack happened a day after Cowan was released from jail. Court records show he completed a one-year jail term for violating probation in a 1991 kidnapping and attempted assault case.

Police said Cowan had been at the Wai­luku Police Station on Friday morning to register as a sex offender, the Maui News reported.

A preliminary hearing for Cowan is scheduled for today in Wai­luku District Court. Cowan, 43, has no local address.

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