The Maui News WAILUKU– A chiropractic specialist is dealing with charges alleging he sexually attacked a client, after a judge last month rejected a defense request to dismiss the indictment.
Michael Pierner, 77, of Paia has pleaded not guilty to second-degree sexual attack and 4 counts of fourth-degree sexual assault of the female in April and May 2018.
At a hearing Feb. 24, Pierner asked for the grand jury indictment to be dismissed, with his lawyer, Richard Sing, challenging testament by a cops investigator and a specialist who has worked as a therapist with victims of sexual attack and domestic violence.
Sing stated the detective's summary of his interview with Pierner “existed basically as a confession when it plainly was the precise opposite.”
Asked how Pierner had actually reacted to the allegations, the detective told the grand jury, “He initially denied it, and after that– then he stated that it was possible, however he didn't do it deliberately. And after that he asked me if he need to close his practice.”
Sing stated a transcript of Pierner's interview with the detective revealed Pierner “rejects over and over again any misbehavior, any criminal conduct, any intentional acts that would be for sexual gratification.”
At one point during the interview, Pierner laughs and makes comments that are “tongue-in-cheek,” Sing stated.
While the defense argued that the detective's testament was misleading, Deputy Prosecutor Karen Droscoski stated that wasn't the case.
She said the detective used Pierner's own words in summarizing his statement. The detective's statement “is not incorrect, nor was it deceptive,” Droscoski wrote in opposing the dismissal.
“The state is not required to provide the defendant's whole declaration,” she said at the Feb. 24 hearing. “The offender's laughing in no chance confirms his declaration was tongue-in-cheek.”
The defense likewise challenged making use of Dani Riggs, clinical director for Child and Family Service on Maui, as an expert witness. Sing stated Riggs' testament was “improperly reinforcing the reliability of the complainant.”
Droscoski stated Riggs' testament about the dynamics of victim behavior helped inform grand jurors about a subject that the typical individual is not familiar with.
“Perpetrators utilize this lack of understanding to their advantage and get away with their criminal activities,” she stated.
The charges against Pierner declare he sexually touched the patient after asking her to take off her clothes throughout chiropractic modifications April 9 and 27, 2018. On a third check out on May 28, 2018, Pierner reached under the woman's underclothing to touch her, according to her statement to the grand jury.
She said she filed a grievance with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs after the 3rd see.
Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo denied the defense request to dismiss the indictment.
She said the court concurred with the state that the detective's statement wasn't intentionally misleading.
Bathroom also said the prosecution “is not required to provide any and all proof to exculpate the accused.”
“The grand jury is not a foe hearing in which regret or innocence is adjudicated,” Loo stated.
Pierner is totally free after posting $100,000 bail.
A March 22 pretrial conference is set in the case.
He was prosecuted in the case for a second time in December 2019, after a previous indictment was dismissed without bias in June 2019.