Prosecutor’s Office gets go ahead for sex assault unit funding

LIHUE — Kauai County Prosecutor Justin Kollar received the OK Wednesday from the Kauai County Council to apply for a $156,285 grant to fund another year of the Sex Assault Prosecution Unit, which is in its second year.

The grant is being offered through the Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, and will fund one full-time attorney and one full-time clerk.

According to a memo from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, the number of sex assault cases increased drastically between 2008 and 2012.

In 2008, 35 cases came before the office. Four years later, that number was 247.

Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura asked what the figures were from 2012 to 2017.

In preparation to the application, the Prosecutor’s Office is researching those numbers, Kollar said.

Yukimura asked the statistics be available when they are ready. She also asked for a reason in the uptick.

Kollar said the justice system is doing a better job at responding to cases.

“It feels like it’s a situation where people feel more comfortable coming out of the shadows than they did in the past,” he said.

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