Oahu, HI – A 36-year-old woman who ran a boarding house in Honolulu has been charged with sexually assaulting a bedridden 16-year-old exchange student multiple times.
The grand jury indicted Rika Shimizu on March 8 with five counts of second-degree sexual assault and four counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Shimizu was the teenaged victim’s guardian while he lived in her boarding house.
Shimizu, who was accused of sexually assaulting the victim at least 10 times between October and February, is from Japan and runs a boarding home for exchange students from Japan who are attending school in Honolulu, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Police said the first assault happened in October, when the victim was bedridden for several weeks due to a head injury. The victim was unable to care for himself during that time, including getting to the bathroom and getting dressed.
The victim told police that in late October of 2017, Shimizu entered his room and sexually assaulted him. The victim said he repeatedly told her to stop and said that he would report her.
Shimizu told the victim that if he reported her, she would tell police that he had raped her, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
She also threatened to have him thrown out of the exchange program and expelled from school, causing his family to lose the $20,000 they had paid for him to be in the exchange program.
Eventually, the victim told his mother of the assaults, and she contacted a family friend to have him taken out of the boarding house immediately while she traveled from Japan to Honolulu to be with him.
The teenager then reported the assaults to the police, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Micky Yamatani, the victim’s attorney, said the assaults perpetrated on the teenager were “egregious.”
“He was an innocent resident of a so-called boarding house being run by this defendant who represented herself as the ‘boarding house mother’ who promised the victim a safe and healthy environment to study English and to experience the American schooling here in Hawaii,” Yamatani said in an e-mailed statement.
“This is a case of sheer betrayal of the trust this victim and his family endowed on this woman. Instead of providing a healthy and nurturing environment, the defendant engaged in sexual assaults of this minor child. We truly want to emphasize here that this crime involved a minor child,” the attorney wrote.
Second-degree sexual assault is a felony with a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and fourth-degree sexual assault is a misdemeanor with a sentence of up to one year in jail, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said.