HONOLULU (KHON2) — After two full days of deliberation, a jury has found Michael Hirokawa not guilty of all charges in the investigation of a 2020 sex assault and kidnapping case.
Jurors started deliberations Thursday afternoon. Hirokawa was charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and sex assault and Tuesday, May 30 jurors found Hirokawa not guilty of any of these charges.
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The defense did not deny the accusations that Hirokawa beat and sexually assaulted the victim but argued that he was drugged.
The defense said Hirokawa was drugged with LSD and sleep aid Ambien so he does not remember what happened the night of the incident.
Kaneshiro said since Hirokawa was involuntarily intoxicated he is not responsible for what happened and should be found not guilty. The twelve jurors involved in the trial agreed unanimously.
The jury consisted of two women and 10 men. When the verdict was read there was a big sigh of relief from the gallery supporting Hirokawa and his mother broke down in tears.
Hirokawa then walked over and gave his mother a big hug.
“It’s been tough but he’s been very resilient. I’m sure he’s happy that the jury saw things the way they did he’s hoping to get back to his regular life,” said Hirokawa’s defense attorney Alen Kaneshiro.
KHON2.com asked if there was any particular part of the case that was their strongest argument.
“I think with this much evidence the jury heard, they had to take a look at everything. It was a really big amount, a large amount of evidence they had to take a look at and we’re just appreciative that they saw things our way,” replied Kaneshiro.
The state attorney general’s office which prosecuted the case sent a statement that said:
“While we are extremely disappointed in the verdict, we respect the process and thank the jury for its service.”
“I think that’s definitely one of the issues in this case, the main issue in this case. It’s been our contention that Mr. Hirokawa was involuntarily intoxicated and we’re glad the jury agreed,” said Kaneshiro.
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KHON2 spoke with jurors as they left the courtroom, including the foreman, but they declined to comment.