The Maui News WAILUKU– A chiropractic practitioner is facing charges alleging he sexually assaulted a client, after a judge last month denied a defense demand to dismiss the indictment.
Michael Pierner, 77, of Paia has pleaded innocent to second-degree sexual assault and 4 counts of fourth-degree sexual attack of the female in April and May 2018.
At a hearing Feb. 24, Pierner requested the grand jury indictment to be dismissed, with his attorney, Richard Sing, challenging testimony by a cops detective and a specialist who has actually worked as a therapist with victims of sexual attack and domestic violence.
Sing stated the detective's summary of his interview with Pierner “existed generally as a confession when it clearly was the precise opposite.”
Asked how Pierner had actually responded to the accusations, the investigator told the grand jury, “He initially rejected it, and then– then he said that it was possible, however he didn't do it deliberately. And then he asked me if he should close his practice.”
Sing stated a records of Pierner's interview with the detective revealed Pierner “rejects over and over once again any misdeed, any criminal conduct, any intentional acts that would be for sexual satisfaction.”
At one point during the interview, Pierner laughs and makes remarks that are “tongue-in-cheek,” Sing said.
While the defense argued that the detective's testament was deceptive, Deputy Prosecutor Karen Droscoski said that wasn't the case.
She said the investigator used Pierner's own words in summarizing his statement. The investigator's testimony “is not incorrect, nor was it deceptive,” Droscoski composed in opposing the termination.
“The state is not required to present the offender's whole statement,” she said at the Feb. 24 hearing. “The defendant's laughing in no chance verifies his statement was tongue-in-cheek.”
The defense also objected to the use of Dani Riggs, clinical director for Child and Family Service on Maui, as a professional witness. Sing said Riggs' testament was “poorly bolstering the reliability of the complainant.”
Droscoski said Riggs' testimony about the dynamics of victim habits helped educate grand jurors about a topic that the typical individual is unfamiliar with.
“Perpetrators use this lack of understanding to their advantage and get away with their criminal activities,” she said.
The charges versus Pierner declare he sexually touched the patient after asking her to take off her clothes during chiropractic adjustments April 9 and 27, 2018. On a 3rd visit on May 28, 2018, Pierner reached under the woman's underclothing to touch her, according to her testament to the grand jury.
She said she submitted a complaint with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs after the third visit.
Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo denied the defense demand to dismiss the indictment.
She said the court concurred with the state that the investigator's testimony wasn't deliberately misleading.
Loo also said the prosecution “is not needed to provide any and all proof to exculpate the accused.”
“The grand jury is not an enemy hearing in which guilt or innocence is adjudicated,” Loo said.
Pierner is complimentary after posting $100,000 bail.
A March 22 pretrial conference is embeded in the case.
He was arraigned in the event for a second time in December 2019, after a previous indictment was dismissed without bias in June 2019.