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No. SCWC-22-0000499, Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 2 p.m.

STATE OF HAWAI‘I, Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ALEXANDER AQUINO, Respondent/Defendant-Appellant.

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The above-captioned case has been set for oral argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali‘iōlani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

The oral argument will also be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and ʻŌlelo Community Television.

Attorney for Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellee STATE OF HAWAI‘I:

     Charles E. Murray III, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

Attorney for Respondent/Defendant-Appellant ALEXANDER AQUINO:

     R. Hermann Heimgartner

NOTE:     Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Lisa M. Ginoza, filed 01/23/24.

NOTE:     Order assigning Circuit Judge Rowena A. Somerville, in place of Ginoza, J., recused, filed 01/26/24.

NOTE:     Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 02/07/24.

COURT:    Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, Eddins, and Devens, JJ., and Circuit Judge Somerville, in place of Ginoza, J., recused

Brief Description:

On September 14, 2021, the County of Hawaiʻi Office of the Prosecuting Attorney charged Alexander Aquino via information with unlawful imprisonment in the first degree in violation of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS) § 707-721(1)(a) (2014).

In a motion to dismiss, Aquino argued the charging document was defective because it omitted the definition of “restrain”:

“Restrain” means to restrict a person’s movement in such a manner as to interfere substantially with the person’s liberty:

(1)     By means of force, threat, or deception; or

(2)     If the person is under the age of eighteen or incompetent, without the consent of the relative, person, or institution having lawful custody of the person.

HRS § 707-700 (2014).

After a bench trial, the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit denied Aquino’s motion and found him guilty of unlawful imprisonment in the first degree.

On appeal, the Intermediate Court of Appeals vacated the circuit court’s judgment of conviction and sentence and remanded for dismissal with prejudice.  The ICA held that the charging document was defective because it omitted the definition of “restrain” relating to parental consent.  The ICA also held the State failed to present sufficient evidence to support Aquino’s unlawful imprisonment conviction.

In its application for a writ of certiorari, the State asserts the ICA gravely erred in holding: (1) the charging document was insufficient and (2) Aquino’s conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence.