July 29, 2005

Conflict Delays Bail Hearing For Deacon Accused Of Abusing Minor


POSTED: 2:19 pm HST July 29, 2005

WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii --

A Catholic deacon accused of sex abuse appeared in a Maui courtroom Friday for a bail hearing, but due to an unusual twist in the proceedings, James Ronald Gonsalves remains in jail without the hearing.

Police charged Gonsalves with 62 counts of sexual assault against a boy. Officers arrested Gonsalves on Wednesday. He is being held on $790,000 bail.

Gonsalves appeared in Circuit Court Friday morning with his attorney, Philip Lowenthal.

At the start of the hearing, Judge Joel August announced he would recuse himself from the case. August and Lowenthal, one of the state's noted defense attorneys, shared a Wailuku law practice for more than 20 years until August was selected as a judge in 2002.

"Judges are bound by an ethical code. It's called the Code of Judicial Conduct and that states out that judges are supposed to avoid even the mere appearance of an impropriety," Lowenthal said.

Posted by kshaw at July 29, 2005 09:35 PM