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Tulimasealii pleads no contest to all charges


    At his May 10 arraignment in District Court, UH football player Kennedy Tulimasealii pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of assault and one count each of resisting arrest and harassment. Tulimasealii today pleaded no contest to six criminal charges.

University of Hawaii football player Kennedy Tulimasealii today pleaded no contest to six criminal charges.

Circuit Court Judge Christine Kuriyama scheduled a sentencing hearing for Aug. 24, during which she would rule on Tulimasealii’s request for a deferral. A deferral would give Tulimasealii an opportunity to avoid conviction and have the charges cleared from his criminal record if he stays out of trouble for a specified period of time.

On June 8, Tulimasealii, 21, had pleaded not guilty to six charges stemming from four incidents involving his 20-year-old former girlfriend. He was charged with damaging a car in late February, property damage on March 1, assault on April 11, and assault, resisting arrest and harassment on April 12. The property damage charge is a Class C felony because it involves costs exceeding $1,500. The assault and resisting arrest charges are misdemeanors. The other two charges are petty misdemeanors.

Tulimasealii decided to change his pleas to no contest despite not reaching an agreement with the prosecutor.

“There’s no sense in prolonging this for him and the young lady,” said his attorney, Michael Green. “He just wants closure for himself and for her. He’s not admitting or denying anything. We just want to get past this.”

Green said Tulimasealii is deserving of a deferral.

“He’s never been convicted of a thing in his life,” Green said.

Deputy Prosecutor Moanikea Crowell said the prosecution “will certainly be objecting” to a deferral. She said the prosecution’s recommendation will come after Tulimasealii’s pre-sentencing assessment.

Because the February/March and April charges were not consolidated, Tulimasealii needs to receive an exemption for the deferral to include all six charges. A deferral is a one-time grant.

“We’re going to deal with that,” Green said.

Tulimasealii has been on suspension from football-related activities since his arrest on April 12. He has remained on scholarship, and has been allowed to attend classes and study hall. He is enrolled in UH’s summer session, and also is attending anger-management classes.

Tulimasealii is expected to miss UH’s season-opener on Aug. 27 in Australia. The Warriors depart on Aug. 20, four days ahead of his sentencing hearing.

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  • No deferral. He hasn’t been convicting previously because he did things that resulted in six separate charges in a short period of time. Stop babying these bullies and give them something to think about next time they want to hurt others instead of just pushing it under the rug.

    • Yes! Lose the scholarship and hope that Judge Kuriyama gives him maximum community service. Real community service not just speaking to students who probably idolize him. But since he is young and this is a serious wake-up call, I hope the judge gives him the deferral but a very lengthy time where he needs to be law-abiding. Very lengthy time. And anger management classes.
      What does the girlfriend’s family want as justice?

  • this will resolve his legal problems but not his personal problem (inability to control anger). attending anger management class will help, but it will not resolve the problem permanently. because he is a star on the football team, he will likely be reinstated to the team. many football players have such problems and it will likely appear again. but football is a good outlet for them to release some of that anger on the field. but once football stops, problems might recur.

    • Courts always assign mandatory anger management. Anger is always a secondary emotion. What is behind anger usually is sadness, hurt and fear. Gotta have some work done to deal with those. We all have these behind our anger.

  • This young man clearly has a problem with violent behavior. Would they give him a deferral if he was not a UH football player? When do we start holding people accountable for their actions?

    • Would they give him a deferral if he wasn’t a UH football player? Yes. Happens all the time. You only hear about it when UH football players are involved.

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