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UH-Manoa student will be returned to Oregon to face sex assault charges

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Former Pacific University football player Kasen Kunishima-Takushi, 20, was arrested during a class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on Tuesday on an extradition warrant issued by Forest Grove police, a Honolulu police spokeswoman said. He appeared in court today with his defense attorney Randall Hironaka.

  • HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Kasen Kunishima-Takushi

A 20-year-old Mililani man will be extradited to Oregon to face rape charges stemming from his time as a student at Pacific University.

Kasen Kunishima-Takushi was arrested Tuesday by Honolulu police on an extradition warrant issued by Forest Grove police, where Pacific University is located, and charged with one count of first-degree rape and three counts of first-degree sodomy.

Kunishima-Takushi is being held on $520,000 bail at Oahu Community Correctional Center while he awaits extradition to Oregon.

Deputy Prosecuting Atty. Leigh Okimoto argued against any bail reduction and asked that Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi increase Kunishima-Takushi’s bail because of the severity of the crime and because of an ongoing Hawaii investigation. After the extradition hearing, Okimoto declined to elaborate on the investigation.

Randall Hironaka, Kunishima-Takushi’s attorney, interrupted Okimoto’s arguments before she could elaborate, saying she wasn’t addressing the question of bail.

In requesting a higher bail amount, Okimoto said Kunishima-Takushi was accused of three assaults that were “very violent in nature.”

Hironaka sought to have his client’s bail reduced and have him released to the custody of his grandparents.

Hironaka said the grandparents were willing to buy the plane ticket and take the suspect to the airport where they could meet the proper authorities from Oregon.

Garibaldi rejected all of Hironaka’s requests and re-affirmed the $520,000 bail amount set by Oregon authorities.

He will be sent back to Washington County before Nov. 3, accompanied by U.S. marshals, for trial in the city of Hillsboro.

Forest Grove police said a Pacific female student reported three assaults on and off campus in early November. The woman went to police three weeks after the alleged attacks in late November. However, Kunishima-Takushi was back in Hawaii by that time.

Joe Lang, Pacific University spokesman, confirmed that Kunishima-Takushi was a student at the school for the 2014-15 academic year and the first two months of the 2015-2016 year.

Lang didn’t want to say whether the victim reported the incidents to university officials before calling police.

“Pacific University respects the legal process and, as such, will refrain from making statements related to active legal matters,” Lang said in a written statement. “The safety and security of all students, employees and guests of Pacific University are very important. The university takes allegations and reports of sexual misconduct seriously, and offers a number of resources for university community members, guests and others who may have had an unwanted sexual experience.”

Kunishima-Takushi was a cornerback on the Pacific football team, according to Pacific’s online roster. He also attended Mid-Pacific Institute and played football for Pac-Five in 2013.

He is currently a freshman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he was arrested Tuesday.

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  • Why should they give him to his grand parents and give him a chance to run or commit suicide. He should see what it means to be a rapist in jail and put the shoe on the other foot. A person like this may have done this before and may have some victims here in Hawaii.

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