LIHUE — When she turned 18, the alleged victim of sexual assault said Tarey Low wanted her to have his baby.
“He said he was trying to get me pregnant,” the woman said. “He said no one had to know, or whose it was. He said he wanted to have a son and for the middle name to be named after him.”
She said she then started to take birth control pills in secret.
“I was afraid to get pregnant,” she said.
Wednesday marked the first full day of trial for Low, who is facing 28 counts of sexual assault, 26 of which are sexual assault in the first degree.
About 20 people were in the courtroom in support for both Low and the victim.
The woman, now 24, has been the lone testifier in the trial, which began Tuesday. So far, she has been on the stand for almost 10 hours, six of which were Wednesday.
She was visibly shaken during some of the questioning, during which she went through several incidents — both at home and at the ranch — where she said she was sexually assaulted. She said he threatened to kill her if she told anyone. But when she was 18, she said she came clean to a friend. She said she also later told another relative, and during a family gathering, she told an auntie, who notified authorities.
“The next morning, my auntie made calls to the YWCA hotline, and they met us at the KPD headquarters,” she said.
During the cross-examination, which lasted about two hours, Low’s attorney, Thomas Otake, emphasized that the ranch was always bustling with people.
“The ranch is a working ranch, and there’s a number of people there at any given day. It was a place for people to come together,” he said.
Otake was matter-of-fact during his questioning, and asked the victim to describe the incidents in detail, and seemed sensitive about her feelings.
“I’m sorry, but can you give details?” he said.
The woman, who was 14 years old at the time, met Low while working on his horse ranch in Anahola.
The 56-year-old Low, who lives in Kapaa, is a former Kauai Police Department officer and state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officer. He is said to have allegedly sexually assaulted a female minor from June 29, 2007, through Feb. 14, 2014, according to a 13-page indictment.
He started as a DLNR DOCARE officer on April 2, 1990. Low became the Kauai district DLNR DOCARE manager in November 2001 and retired on June 1, 2009.
The trial will continue today, with Otake’s cross-examination of the alleged victim.
Judge Kathleen Watanabe is presiding over the trial. Jennifer Winn is the attorney for the Prosecutor’s Office.