HONOLULU (KHON2) — What were they thinking? That is what some are asking after a suspect was arrested six times in two weeks, many of them for sex assault, but kept getting released.
Since Wednesday, March 3, 37-year-old Randy Jacob was arrested four times for fourth-degree sex assault for allegedly groping women.
All of the incidents happened in the Downtown Honolulu area within days from each other.
He was also arrested for theft and harassment during that time. Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm sent out a warning after Jacob’s latest arrest on Tuesday, March 16, because he kept getting released.
The state Supreme Court issued an order in August, 2020, to release non-violent suspects to ease overcrowding in jails because of the pandemic. Alm says Jacob fell in the category allowed for release. Former Circuit Court Judge Randal Lee says the judge should not have allowed that to happen.
“Given the numerous times that the person allegedly had committed these offenses, he posed a danger to the female community, in which case bail should have been posted,” said Lee.
Records show Jacob has also been charged with theft, assault and harassment 16 times. He was either found guilty, acquitted by reason of insanity, or the case was dismissed due to mental illness.
“That’s more concerning. If he has a prior history of mental illness, then at the very least, bail should be set or he should be at least held so they could do in district court a one-panel examination,” said Lee.
A one-panel examination would require a psychologist or psychiatrist to determine if Jacob is fit for trial. Alm says he has also argued to keep Jacob in custody or committed to a mental health facility. He plans to file a motion to change the Supreme Court order to not allow the release of those charged with fourth-degree sex assault.
When KHON2 asked the state judiciary about this, a spokeswoman said she cannot comment because the Supreme Court order is still in effect. Jacob remains in custody after the judge set bail at $500.