Jury undecided in sexual assault case

LIHUE— The jury deciding the fate of a Kauai man charged with sexual assault on a minor was unable to reach a verdict following nearly three hours of deliberations Friday.

The high-profile case of Tarey Low, a former Kauai police officer and state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officer, will resume when the jury goes back into deliberations Monday.

Low, 56, of Kapaa, 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 was originally facing 28 counts of sexual assault, but was acquitted of four of the first-degree sexual assault charges Thursday.

Low has denied the accusations.

Friday, Judge Kathleen Watanabe addressed the 12-person jury, made up of 10 women and 2 men, explaining the 59-page document detailing the criminal charges.

After a 10-minute recess, closing argument statements were made by both sides.

“The acts were not an accident,” said First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn.

“He knew what he was doing and told her not to tell anyone or he would kill her.”

“The defendant was a person with power and control, and the victim was helpless,” Winn said.

The defendant’s attorney, Thomas Otake, said in his closing argument that the alleged victim’s testimony, “makes no sense, because it didn’t happen. Her story defies logic, common sense and reason.”

“All it takes is a reasonable doubt,” he said.

Low remained expressionless and looked tired while he listened.

Low started as a DLNR DOCARE officer on April 2, 1990. He became the Kauai district DLNR DOCARE manager in November 2001 and retired on June 1, 2009.

After the statements were presented, the judge ordered an hour lunch break. The jury resumed for deliberations at 2 p.m. and ended the day before 5 p.m.

More than 40 people, some of them family members of the alleged victim as well as the defendant, stood outside the courtroom awaiting a conclusion to the 2014 indictment.

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