Two Maui Men Charged with Hate Crimes for Racially Motivated Attack

A federal grand jury in Honolulu, Hawaii, returned an indictment charging Kaulana Alo Kaonohi and Levi Aki, Jr. with a hate crime for their racially motivated attack on a Caucasian man who was attempting to move into the defendants’ Native Hawaiian neighborhood of Kahakuloa on Maui.

The indictment was announced today by Acting Assistant Attorney General John B. Daukas for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price for the District of Hawaii, and FBI Honolulu Special Agent in Charge Eli S. Miranda.

The indictment alleges that, on Feb. 13, 2014, Kaonohi and Aki willfully caused bodily injury to C.K., and attempted to cause bodily injury to C.K. through the use of a dangerous weapon (a shovel), because of C.K.’s actual and perceived race and color.

“Violence perpetrated towards others on the basis of race is an intolerable form of conduct that we must combat as a law enforcement community and a Nation.  My office will do its part to protect the public by holding those who commit hate crimes accountable for their conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Price.

The maximum penalty for the charged crime is 10 years of imprisonment.  An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Thomas of the District of Hawaii is prosecuting the case in partnership with Special Litigation Counsel Christopher J. Perras and Trial Attorney Tara Allison of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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