An Oahu woman indicted on multiple counts of sex assault against a minor got her case dropped.
Japanese national Rika Shimizu, 36, was the owner of a boarding house for Japanese exchange students when she was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy in 2017.
Prosecutors dropped her case Friday morning, but it’s not exactly the outcome Shimizu wanted.
Court documents reveal the alleged victim, a 16-year-old boy, refused to testify in court.
Shimizu’s trial was set for January 7th.
Her attorney Victor Bakke says the prosecutors met with the judge without him present and asked to drop the case.
“She wanted her day in court and prove she was not guilty and that was taken away from us. It’s a mixed blessing in a way, but we didn’t get our day in court,” said Bakke.
The case was dismissed “without prejudice,” meaning there’s a chance it could re-open.
“Without that permanent dismissal, she has no closure to the case. She’s facing prosecution, immigration consequences, business consequences. It’s left open hanging,” explained Bakke.
The criminal defense attorney says the judge threw out “key evidence” in the case because police and U.S. Marshals searched her home without a warrant and did not contact the Japanese consulate.
Still, Shimizu lost her business and spent over 45 days in jail before being released.
Bakke says 36-year-old Japanese national was facing prison time before prosecutors eventually offered a deal to drop the felony charges to a misdemeanor, which she refused.
“You’re talking sitting in a foreign country, foreign prison, she doesn’t speak much english, isolated from friends and family, business has been destroyed. She managed to get out on supervised release. And she wasn’t going to back down. We’re just on pins and needles for the rest of her life.”
The prosecutor in the case was unavailable for comment.