LIHUE — On the heels of winning a guilty verdict for a sexual assault case, Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar on Monday announced his plans to file for a second term in office with more than a dozen supPorters on hand.
Kollar, who said he plans to file nomination papers in April, was elected to office in 2012 after defeating incumbent Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho.
“I feel like we have accomplished a lot over three and half years in terms of building the community’s trust in our department and building a criminal justice system on Kauai that balances compassion with the need for accountability,” Kollar said.
During his time in office, Kollar said he’s worked hard to pass key pieces of legislation to help abuse victims who often get overlooked by the criminal justice system — such as children and same sex couples.
Kollar in 2013 pushed for legislation that would protect same-sex couples against domestic violence. The bill was introduced by District 14 State Rep. Derek Kawakami and signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on July 1, 2013.
Kollar also pushed for HB 1993, which extended domestic abuse protection by making it a felony to abuse a family or household member while someone under the age of 14 is present.
“Part of that has just been trying to break the cycle of violence in the home,” Kollar said. “Kids that grow up witnessing abuse are more likely to have challenges later in life.”
Recently, Kollar has been pushing Marsy’s Law, a bill that would add a crime victims’ bill of rights to the Hawaii constitution.
But the 42-year-old said he can’t take credit for all the work he does in his office. Last week, his First Deputy Jennifer Winn took home a big win for the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
“It was a child sex assault case that concerned incidents from about 10 years ago and was charged back in 2010,” Kollar said. “Jennifer took the case to trial and she did an outstanding job and I’m really proud of her.”
Lisa Arin, who has worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney both in his office and in Iseri-Caravalho’s office, has also filed her intention to seek the office.
Kollar, who stepped down as deputy county attorney after about three years, said that although he is not campaigning heavily, he is building support and listening to his constituents.
“What I hear most is the drug problem, property crimes, homes being broken into or people being victimized in that way … ” he said. “I also hear about the inefficiencies of the criminal justice system. Those are the things that we have worked on in the past years and would like to keep working on.”
Prior to his time as deputy county attorney, Kollar worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney under Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Craig De Costa and then Iseri-Caravalho between March 2008 to October 2009, respectively.
Michelle Iracheta, cops and courts reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Michelle on Twitter @cephira