Trial for a Hawaii federal firefighter accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been set for December.
Joseph Sonognini, 42, appeared at his arraignment at Circuit Court Monday before Judge Trish K. Morikawa on charges of three counts of first-degree sexual assault, nine counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of continuous sexual assault of a minor younger than 14 years old.
The court entered a not guilty plea on Sonognini’s behalf after his attorney, Victor Bakke, said he didn’t trust the indictment because of handwritten amendments made to parts of the court document.
Morikawa set Sonognini’s trial for December.
Sonognini did not comment on the charges after the hearing. Outside of the courtroom, Bakke said, “The allegations are false. We’re fully defending them.”
While Bakke described the handwritten amendments as unusual, deputy prosecutor Thalia Murphy said they were made during the grand jury proceedings. “Any changes are always placed on the record at the grand jury proceedings,” she said.
According to the court document, the assaults involving a young girl occurred from September 2014 to May 2016.