A special education teacher who recently began working in a Hawaii public school will be extradited to Arizona where she’s accused of having sex with a student.
Deborah Hoshiyama, 45, was arrested early Tuesday at a Waikiki condominium on a warrant from Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located. She’s accused of having a sexual relationship with a student sometime between August 2007 and April 2008, according to the U.S. Marshals Service in Hawaii.
During an extradition hearing Thursday, defense attorney Jason Burks said when the allegations surfaced about seven years ago, Hoshiyama spoke with police and nothing came of the matter. She was notified about two years ago when the family of the alleged victim filed a $1 million civil lawsuit, but she was never deposed or asked to testify, Burks said, and he didn’t know what became of the lawsuit.
“She didn’t come to Hawaii to hide,” Burks said, explaining that she moved a few months ago with her fiance, who attended the hearing, and her two children.
Hoshiyama waived extradition and the judge set bail at $250,000, even though a prosecutor asked that she be held without bail. Arizona authorities have 30 days to pick her up.
Outside of court, Burks said the alleged victim was a 13-year-old special education student at the time.
Hoshiyama began working Nov. 7 at the Voyager Public Charter School in Honolulu, said principal Jeff Vilardi. However, state Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said officials hadn’t yet cleared her to begin working, and her application and background checks were still being processed.
Hoshiyama’s fiance, who would only give his first name, Jason, was teary-eyed as he spoke with reporters after Thursday’s hearing and he denied the allegations.
“We were just living in paradise and then this is what happens,” he said. “I’m proud to say I stand by her.”
Burks said he’s not sure whether Hoshiyama will post bail because it’s not clear how soon Arizona authorities will arrive.
Authorities say Hoshiyama is also known as Deborah Nicholson. Burks said that’s her maiden name and she still uses Hoshiyama, which is her ex-husband’s last name.