A Circuit Court judge has set a trial date for a 23-year-old man accused of kidnapping a 22-year-old woman at knifepoint and sexually assaulting her in early April.
Austin Q. Joseph appeared at his arraignment at Circuit Court Thursday via closed-circuit video link from the Oahu Community Correctional Center after an Oahu grand jury indicted him last week with kidnapping, robbery, four counts of sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual assault, operating the victim’s car, possessing her bank card without her permission, identity theft and theft.
Honolulu Deputy Public Defender Donovan Odo entered a not guilty plea to the charges.
During the arraignment, Odo said Joseph is employed and would be able to stay with a family member if granted a supervised release.
Judge Shirley Kawamura denied the request due to the nature of the alleged offenses and the danger posed to the victim and the community.
She confirmed his bail at $1 million and scheduled his trial to be held in June.
Joseph is accused of kidnapping the young woman after she stopped her car on Kalanianaole Highway in East Honolulu on the night of April 3 after she drove over a large rock.
According to a deputy prosecutor, he forced his way into the victim’s car, sexually assaulted her at a beach and carried her to the ocean where he nearly drowned her. Joseph left the victim in her car hours later in the Windward Mall area, according to prosecutors.
Police said a surveillance video captured images of Joseph at Aloha Island Mart Windward Mall withdrawing $100 from the woman’s account.
Police located him in his car at the mall on April 11 and arrested him. The deputy prosecutor described him as a transient who lives in his car.