LIHUE — A man who claimed kuleana land on the North Shore is no longer facing a criminal trespass charge.
Jesse Steele of Wainiha appeared before Judge Michael Soong Thursday for a bench trial after he was arrested in April for trespassing.
The charge was dismissed without prejudice.
“The state dismissing my case goes to show they have no proper title,” Steele said. “They are scared for it to go to trial because it would bring to light the unconstitutional acts and continuous violations of the state and county illegally stealing Hawaiian lands.”
On the morning of April 4, police received a complaint regarding individuals who were reportedly blocking access to the entrance of private property at 4600 Ananalu Road in Wainiha, according to county officials.
Contractors were reportedly attempting to access the property to remove an illegal wooden structure that was built without the owner’s permission.
Officers arrived at the scene and located four individuals blocking access to the property.
Officers notified the individuals of the violation and after refusing to vacate the premises, the violators were arrested.
Steele, along with Kaimi Hermosura, Noa Mau-Espiritu and Kapana Thronas-Kahoonei, who claim ownership to the land by right of royal patent, were arrested on various charges.
Steele was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing and posted $100 bail. Thronas-Kahoonei was arrested for disorderly conduct and failure to disperse and posted $150 bail while Hermosura and Mau-Espiritu were arrested for disorderly conduct and each posted $50 bail.
In May, Steele refused to enter a plea, and Soong entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.