HONOLULU — After being arrested last week on two counts of sexual exploitation of a child under the age of 18 by directing his victim into producing child pornography, Victor Aguilar, 65, a former educator and JROTC instructor at Waimea High School, made his first court appearance via phone from the Honolulu Federal Detention Center on Monday.
Elliot Enoki, the first assistant of the U.S. Attorney Office for the District of Hawai‘i, said Aguilar is detained in federal custody pending a telephone detention hearing scheduled for April 1 at 9:30 a.m.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 12 at 9:30 a.m., before Magistrate Judge Wes Reber Porter.
A federal public defender was appointed to represent Aguilar. Assistant Federal Public Defender of Honolulu Max Mizono was contacted via phone but declined to comment.
County of Kaua‘i Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said the federal hearings are in addition to the state charges pending on Kaua‘i.
Unsealed court documents filed on March 26 called Aguilar’s crime “egregious.”
“At times relevant to the offense, Aguilar was in a position of great trust in the community: He was an instructor for the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) at Waimea High School on Kaua‘i,” the documents read. “In this position, he had access to many minors, including the Minor Victim in this case.”
The court documents state that Aguilar’s work electronics held personal videos of sexual abuse toward his victim and photos pulled off social media of his former students since 2009.
Aguilar was determined eligible for detention because his case involves a felony.
Micah Smith, the assistant U.S. Attorney under the new acting U.S. Attorney Judith A. Philips was also contacted but could not make a comment in time.
Both the detention and preliminary hearing will be held telephonically via At&T Connect Audio Conference. To listen in call 1-888-278-0296, access code is 8224751. Parties must connect to the conference at least five minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the hearings.
Stephanie Shinno, education, business and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com.