Rodriguez Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Assaults In Late '90s
District Attorney's Office Says Girls Were Family Friends
A popular longtime Hawaii entertainer has pleaded not guilty in a California courtroom to charges of committing a sex crime against a child.
Authorities arrested Cecilio Rodriguez, 66, Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. He was being held on $200,000 bail.
Authorities charged Rodriguez with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.
The cases involved two women who recently reported the cases that stem from alleged incidents between November 1997 to November 1999 when they were juveniles.
The two girls were family friends of Rodriguez, a Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office representative said. KITV4 News has chosen not to reveal the women's names, and we have marked off their names from the charges document.
PDF: Charges Document
Rodriguez and his musical partner, Henry Kapono, were on the West Coast for what they called a "Good Times Together" concert tour earlier this month, in cities including San Francisco, Portland and San Diego.
According to the band's website, their last concert was in Redondo Beach, Calif., one week ago.
Kapono released a statement Wednesday night saying he's on vacation with his family in Disneyland and has not spoken to Rodriguez since his arrest.
"I did not see this coming. I am saddened for Cecilio and heartbroken for the family involved. My heart and prayers go out to them," Kapono said.
In 1994, Rodriguez pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted sexual assault on the Big Island and served two days in jail, according to state court records.
He was granted a "deferred acceptance of not guilty" plea in that case, meaning if he abided by terms of probation, his record would be wiped clean. He is not listed on the state's sexual offender website.
Last month, Rodriguez was found guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant on Oahu, just a few days before he performed in Labor Day weekend concerts at the Hilton Hawaiian hotel in Waikiki. He was sentenced to 240 hours of community service and a $500 fine, according to records from the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center.
Known to fans as "C and K," Cecilio and Kapono formed their musical duo in 1973 and have released 14 albums since then. Some of their most famous songs include "Night Music," "Friends," 'Life Time Party," and "Good Times Together."
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