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DLNR officer charged with sexual assault of girl

MEDIA RELEASE

Ethan Ferguson

Ethan Ferguson

A law enforcement officer for the State Department of Land and Natural Resources has been charged with five counts of sexual assault.

On January 1, a female minor reported that she was at a beach park in Hilo when the DLNR officer approached her while in uniform and sexually assaulted her.

On Thursday (January 7), 39-year-old Ethan Ferguson of Hilo was arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Hawaiʻi Police Department continued the investigation.

At 11:50 a.m. Friday (January 8), Ferguson was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. His bail was set at $13,000.

He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (January 11).

DLNR statement on arrest of DOCARE officer

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) will cooperate with the Hawaii Police Department criminal investigation.

DOCARE will also conduct its own internal investigation.

Ethan Ferguson has been a Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officer (CREO) since June 27, 2013

He is still in custody and has been served with a letter of removal of police authority, and is being put on administrative leave with pay, pending adjudication.

There are 109 DOCARE officers statewide, and 27 on Hawaii Island. DLNR does criminal background checks for prospective employees.

DOCARE officers are responsible for enforcement activities of the Department. The division, with full police powers, enforces all State laws and rules involving State lands, State Parks, historic sites, forest reserves, aquatic life and wildlife areas, coastal zones, Conservation districts, State shores, as well as county ordinances involving county parks. The division also enforces laws relating to firearms, ammunition, and dangerous weapons.

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