Keaau man pleads not guilty to molesting girl


A 32-year-old Keaau man pleaded not guilty Thursday to numerous sex offenses, including sexual assault of a minor.

Third Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ordered Vajra Ramdas Hogye-Lederer to appear for trial at 9 a.m. Feb. 10 before Third Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra.

In a 20-count indictment returned by a Kona grand jury Aug. 25, Hogye-Lederer was charged with seven counts of first-degree sex assault, five counts second-degree electronic enticement of a child, six counts of promoting pornography for minors, and two counts of first-degree promotion of minor-produced sexual images.

He was arrested Wednesday in Hawaiian Paradise Park and appeared at his arraignment in custody.

According to police, the victim was a juvenile girl between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time of the alleged offenses, between Oct. 8 and 29, 2012.

A bench warrant issued after the indictment set Hogye-Lederer’s bail at $900,000.

Deputy Public Defender Jeff Ng, who represented Hogye-Lederer at the court proceeding, asked the judge to free Hogye-Lederer on supervised release or to reduce his bail.

“According to a pre-trial bail report, Mr. Hogye-Lederer is currently on supervised release on two counts of sexual assault in the second degree,” Ng said, then corrected himself, saying Hogye-Lederer had been freed on bail with conditions in April 2013.

Ng said Hogye-Lederer complied with his bail terms and has made all his court dates.

“Mr. Hogye-Lederer also reported he’s been working as a fisherman and he has a place to stay,” he said.

Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Lee objected to supervised release or any bail reduction.

“As Mr. Ng pointed out, the defendant was on bail with conditions on two counts of sexual assault in the second degree,” Lee said.

Nakamura maintained Hogye-Lederer’s bail.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.