Conn. Sex Case Takes Unexpected Turn With Mass. Allegations

A sexual assault case against a Connecticut man involving a 14-year-old girl took an unexpected turn at Hartford Superior Court when a Massachusetts woman appeared with a new allegation of abuse that allegedly occurred in Somerville 21 years ago, as reported by the Somerville Patch website.

Nelson M. Kawakami, 57, of 401 Prospect Ave., West Hartford, Conn., was expected in court January 19 for a plea hearing on multiple felony charges, including second-degree sexual assault and five counts of felony risk of injury to a child.

Superior Court Judge John F. Cronan instead abruptly issued a continuance before his court opened for public business. The request for a continuance was not made by the defense, but by the judge, whose office the Massachusetts woman, now 30, contacted.

Kawakami is now scheduled to return to court March 2.

Outside of court was a Massachusetts woman who says authorities were recently informed that she also was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kawakami, a relative, when she was 9 and living in Somerville. She has not filed a police report.

The Massachusetts woman was at Superior Court with a sister, 29, and their mother, 57. Until Wednesday, they said they have not seen Kawakami in 15 years and became aware of the case in the news.

“We just want to support the 14-year-old girl,” the woman’s sister said.

Details of the Massachusetts woman’s alleged abuse were apparently e-mailed to authorities. A statement was faxed to Superior Court Jan. 3. The woman no longer lives in Somerville.

Without a sworn statement reporting a crime, the woman’s claims against Kawakami would not be admissable evidence in court.

Kawakami, who was arrested by police Nov. 18, remains free on $75,000 bail.

The alleged West Hartford sexual assault occurred June 1, 2006, West Hartford police said. The victim revealed the alleged abuse to police last year. At the time of the alleged assault, Kawakami was working as a contractor at the victim’s home, police said.

Other details emerged from the West Hartford police arrest warrant.

The Connecticut victim, now 19, came to the police station Sept. 17 with two other women and filed a sexual assault complaint. One of the women was Kawakami’s wife, Marlene Kawakami, who was described as a friend of the victim.

Marlene and Nelson Kawakami have been married 29 years, according to the arrest warrant. Mr. Kawakami later provided a sworn confession, police said.

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