Feds recover nude photos on Katherine Kealoha’s phone
When Hawaii County firefighter Jesse Ebersole pleaded guilty last July to lying about his relationship with former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, the federal prosecutor said investigators found Ebersole’s name on some of Kealoha’s credit card charges and had records of phone conversations between the two.
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When Hawaii County
firefighter Jesse Ebersole pleaded guilty last July to
lying about his relationship with former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, the federal prosecutor said investigators found Ebersole’s name on some of Kealoha’s credit card charges and had records of phone conversations between the two.
The credit card charges included airfare and hotel stays for Kealoha’s trips to Hilo and airfare and hotel stays for Ebersole’s trips to Honolulu for trysts.
What the prosecutor didn’t say is that the FBI had also recovered nude photographs on one of Kealoha’s cellphones.
Michael Wheat, the lead prosecutor in the federal case against Kealoha, her husband, retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit, publicly disclosed the existence of the photographs in a pretrial status conference last August with all of the defense lawyers in the case and a U.S. magistrate judge.
“Those photographs relate to Ms. Kealoha’s relationship with Jesse Ebersole, which is something that just came about when we had access to those phones that were searched,” Wheat said.
It is not clear from the transcript of the Aug. 15 conference when the FBI recovered the photographs and whether or not prosecutors had them before Ebersole pleaded guilty last July to conspiring with Katherine Kealoha to lie to the federal grand jury that was investigating her.
Once the photographs were discovered, “that’s when Mr. Ebersole was contacted, and those phones were verified,” then they were reproduced for Katherine Kealoha’s lawyer, Wheat said.
Katherine Kealoha’s count-appointed lawyer Cynthia Kagiwada had asked for the status conference to complain to the judge that the government had not been turning over all of the evidence it planned to use against Katherine Kealoha, including the photographs.
Wheat said his office turned over all evidence it had but had encrypted the photographs because they contain nudity and genitalia.
The Kealohas and the four former HPD CIU members are scheduled to stand trial in March on charges of conspiring to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle of stealing the Kealoha’s mailbox and lying about it to investigators.
The Kealohas are then scheduled to stand trial in June on charges of lying on loan applications to secure mortgages and other loans.
Ebersole’s sentencing is scheduled for April, but that will probably get postponed to a later date. He is facing a maximum five-year prison term but he is cooperating with the government which will base its sentencing recommendation on Ebersole’s level of cooperation. He is
expected to testify in the
Kealoha’s bank fraud trial.
Kagiwada did not respond to requests for comment. Ebersole’s lawyer declined to comment.