HONOLULU (KHON2) — Defendant Michael Hirokawa could wind up taking the witness stand on Wednesday, May 24. Legal experts normally advise against it but in this case, they said it could be the best strategy for the defense.

Hirokawa is accused of raping and beating a woman in his apartment three years ago, and is charged with attempted murder, sex assault and kidnapping.

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His attorney said Hirokawa was drugged with LSD and the sleep aid Ambien, and he has no recollection of it.

His attorney has said he plans to put Hirokawa on the witness stand.

“Once the defendant testifies, then the prosecutor is now able to cross-examine them and ask them a lot of questions, and that’s a very risky place for most defendants to go,” said Doug Chin, a former deputy prosecutor.

Legal experts said in sex assault cases, there may be times when it would be beneficial for the defense to testify.

“This is definitely an exception to the rule because he needs to lay the proper foundation to show that he did not voluntarily take the LSD and Ambien,” said Megan Kau, a defense attorney.

Legal experts said it all comes down to how credible Hirokawa will be on the witness stand and whether he can convince the jury that he was actually drugged.

Kau and Chin point out that if Hirokawa was drugged without him knowing it, he cannot be held responsible for his actions.

“In order to be guilty of a crime, you have to have done the act, but you also have to have the proper state of mind, which means you did it usually intentionally or knowingly,” said Chin.

“If the jury believes that the defendant was not acting voluntarily, meaning he didn’t have control over his actions, then the jury can find him not guilty of all charges,” said Kau.

Kau added that the defense does not need to prove that he was drugged by the victim.

“All the defendant needs to show is that he did not voluntarily ingest LSD and Ambien. It’s the government’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all of the actions that the defendant took that night were voluntary and intentional,” said Kau.

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The trial resumes on Wednesday.