Sex-assault suspect gets supervised release

LIHU‘E — Poor health and no opposition from the state prompted a judge to grant supervised release to a 69 year-old Hanama‘ulu man accused of six counts of sexual assault.

Tomas Rudy Refamonte has been held in custody since his Jan. 7 arrest at Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center. He appeared in 5th Circuit Court Monday on what was to be a hearing before his jury trial.

Refamonte faces six counts of first-degree sexual assault, and two counts each of third-degree sexual assault and family abuse. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Judge Kathleen N. A. Watanabe granted a defense motion for supervised release and bail reduction. She granted another defense motion to determine mental fitness for trial, and ordered a three-panel recommendation to be ready by a June 25 status hearing.

State Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Sato said the mental fitness motion is based on the Refamonte’s health and medical history. She presented one of the defendant’s daughters in court and said they would be caring for him at their home.

State Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Arin said the state did not object to supervised release, but preferred a $10,000 bail setting to the defense request for less than $5,000. She said the defendant needs to have a financial stake in guaranteeing his return to court.

Watanabe granted supervised release based in part on the probation office report and the state of the defendant’s health. She ordered that Refamonte not drive while on supervised release, or to have any contact with the victim, who lives approximately one mile from his daughter’s home.

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