MAN ACCUSED OF BREAKING INTO HOMES TO COMMIT SEX CRIMES. Norston Mike to face separate trials for two incidents
July 16, 2020
WAILUKU — A man charged with allegedly breaking into two women’s homes to commit sex crimes is facing separate trials, after a judge Wednesday denied a prosecution request to consolidate the cases.
Norston Mike, 22, had posted bail after being arrested in the first case in December and was being sought on a warrant when the second case occurred in April, said Deputy Prosecutor J.W. Hupp.
“The facts are very similar, even though one occurred on Lanai and one on Maui,” Hupp said, arguing in court Wednesday for the cases to be consolidated.
He said Mike was living in an apartment on Lanai on Dec. 7 when he went through a window and into the bed of an acquaintance living in a nearby unit at the same complex.
“He got into bed with her and sexually assaulted her,” Hupp said.
He said the victim woke up. Her mother and a small child also were in the apartment, creating a commotion before Mike ran out of the residence, Hupp said.
On April 27, after Mike had moved to Happy Valley on Maui, he was hanging out with people, including the victim in the second case, Hupp said.
“She went back into her residence and was taking a shower,” he said. “At some point, she realized the defendant had come into her home and was in the bathroom watching her taking a shower.”
Mike fled and was detained by members of the community who heard the victim screaming, Hupp said.
He said both cases occurred late at night.
Mike has pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary and third-degree sexual assault in the first case. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary, second-degree violation of privacy and second-degree unauthorized entry into a dwelling in the second case.
Mike opposed the proposed consolidation, with Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson saying there was potential prejudice if the cases were joined for trial.
He said that if Mike wanted to testify in one case, he couldn’t choose to remain silent in the other if the cases were consolidated.
In a memorandum responding to the defense opposition, Hupp said that because of the similarity in the two incidents, evidence in both could be used to show modus operandi and identity of the defendant.
“In addition, the evidence of both incidents goes to establish plan, motive and absence of a mistake or accident,” Hupp said.
Stevenson said he didn’t see a modus operandi in the two cases that would be unique “like the Joker in Batman leaving a Joker card at the scene of the crime.”
In denying the request to consolidate the cases, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said, “The court actually sees more differences in these cases than similarities.”
While both involve acquaintances and occurred at night at their homes, they occurred on different islands and four to five months apart, Loo noted.
“One involved sexual assault, the other appeared to be more of a peeping Tom situation,” she said. “It sounds like each case is different in their own way, although there are similarities.
“There is possible prejudice because there are differences.”
An Aug. 18 pretrial conference is set for Mike, who is being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center in lieu of a total of $170,000 bail.
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