WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Police on Maui arrested three men as part of an online sting operation targeting suspects attempting to make arrangements to have sex with teenagers.
The men were charged with felonies after allegedly arranging a meeting for sex with someone each believed was a teenage girl in Kihei, The Maui News reported Wednesday.
The investigations were initiated by an undercover agent posing online as a 13-year-old girl, court records said.
Kyle Cribben, 28, and Rodney Shimoda, 64, were charged separately with electronic enticement of a child and indecent electronic display to a child, authorities said.
A third suspect, Joseph Montelongo, 34, was charged with electronic enticement of a child.
Shimoda was released after posting $22,000 bail, court records said.
Judge Kirstin Hamman increased Cribben's bail to $500,000 in Wailuku District Court.
“Given the nature of the allegations, the court is extremely concerned about the safety of the community,” Hamman said.
Deputy Prosecutor Karen Droscoski said Cribben was a “serious sexual predator” who allegedly participated in chats with the undercover officer and, after being told the online character was 13, took an indecent photo and sent it electronically. Cribben was arrested after going to a meeting site monitored by police.
Deputy Public Defender Gustavo Gonzalez opposed increasing Cribben’s bail from the $22,000 set by police.
Deputy Public Defender Rachel Miyoshi asked for Montelongo to be released on supervision or his own recognizance “based on the fact that we have a virus emergency setting, and he has absolutely no criminal history.”
Judge John Breen increased bail to $100,000 for Montelongo.
Breen said he wanted to keep bail in line with the $100,000 he set Monday for Eric Duncan, 34, who was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child after his arrest Friday as part of the same online sting operation.
Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson has said that Duncan has no prior record and is employed.