Sources: Kailua Officer Accused In Rape Will Quit

By Keoki Kerr
Published On: Nov 17 2011 08:35:09 AM HST
Updated On: Nov 16 2011 10:25:33 PM HST
HONOLULU -

KITV 4 News learned Wednesday an officer accused of raping a shoplifting suspect while he was on duty and in uniform plans to quit the Honolulu Police Department.

That news comes two days after one of the HPD?s highest ranking officers ? already indicted for extortion -- was arrested in a federal drug raid at his home.

A 47-year-old shoplifting suspect accused a Kailua patrol officer of raping her in the second-floor of the parking structure next to Longs Drugs Kailua on September 16.

The officer, who?s been on the force for four years, told co-workers he had consensual sex with the woman while he was on duty and in uniform, police sources said. He also told fellow officers he flunked a lie-detector test, sources said.

The officer -- who's on unpaid leave and the focus of an internal affairs investigation -- now plans to quit the police department, according to police sources. If he remained at HPD, he most likely would have faced administrative discipline such as a suspension or firing, police officers said.

A deputy city prosecutor made an initial decision to decline to prosecute the officer, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove the victim did not consent to sex, according to Dave Koga, a spokesman for the prosecutor?s office.

But City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro will make the final decision about whether to bring a criminal case, Koga said.

The alleged victim has a criminal record and was arrested for shoplifting at Macy?s Kahala Mall the day after she reported the officer sexually assaulted her in Kailua.

Meantime, the search is under way for former Honolulu police officer Michael Tarmoun, who law enforcement officers fear may have fled to his native Morocco before being sentenced for sexually assaulting a prostitute in Waikiki. He faced up to ten years in prison when he failed to show up for his sentencing last month in circuit court.

Monday night, the FBI arrested HPD Major Carlton Nishimura after a federal raid found the drug crystal methamphetamine at his home on the Waianae Coast.

"I am very concerned about the seriousness of this recent allegation," said Police Chief Louis Kealoha in remarks to reporters Wednesday.

The FBI found about 231 grams of crystal meth, along baggies and three digital scales at Nishimura?s home Monday night.

Federal agents returned to Nishimura's home Tuesday night with metal detectors as well as a dog and appeared to search his garage and elsewhere in his house.

"This doesn't reflect the majority of our police officers and our civilians who go out every day and do an excellent job. This is a very small. It's one person, a very small fraction of our department," Kealoha said.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard, who chairs the council?s safety committee, said, ?It is unfortunate that the actions of these very few cast a shadow over the really great work being done by officers at HPD every day.?

?No one is above the law and people need to be accountable for their actions,? Gabbard said.

HPD put Nishimura on unpaid leave Tuesday, after the FBI arrested him for intent to distribute crystal meth.

In February, a federal grand jury indicted Nishimura for extortion in another case, with prosecutors claiming he conspired to accept bribes from illegal gambling operations in exchange for steering police away from raiding them.

When Nishimura, a 30-year HPD veteran, was indicted earlier this year, he had been assigned to the legislative liaison office of the police department, which lobbies state lawmakers and members of the city council on HPD?s behalf.

Sources said until Tuesday, he had been working in the Community Affairs division, on leave with pay.

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