Robert N. Hansen and Edwina Nakaula were cleared Monday in Fifth Circuit Court of a kidnapping charge after jurors spent 16 hours spread over three days to reach a decision.
A mistrial was declared on sexual assault charges against them.
They still face a new trial over the sexual assault charges in an alleged incident involving a 16-year-old girl.
A new trial date is to be set on Sept. 19.
The charges alleged that in Sept. 2000 the girl went to the apartment of Hansen (also known as Robert Henson), 22, and Nakaula, 20, his live-in girlfriend at the time, to baby-sit Nakaula’s two young children. Once there it’s alleged that the couple held the victim in the apartment against her will and forced her to have sex with Hansen.
Defense attorneys Edmund Acoba and Warren Perry argued that the girl waited months to tell anyone of the alleged incident, and that she failed to call for help at the time. They argued that the case was one of “sex for cigarettes,” and that the victim called the incident a rape after the fact.
Jurors could not decide on a verdict on charges of sexual assault in the first and third degrees, and said more time pondering a decision wouldn’t help.
Judge Clifford L. Nakea then declared a mistrial. The defense attorneys filed paperwork requesting that Hansen and Nakaula be released from Kaua’i Community Correctional Center on supervised release until the next trial.