The 10th District state House race (which spans from West Maui to North Kihei) got a whole lot more complicated with the Oct. 11 arrest of Republican Chayne Marten, who is once again challenging incumbent Democrat Angus McKelvey. After he was booked, The Maui News reported on Oct. 14, Marten pleaded not guilty to “five charges of first-degree sexual assault, three charges of third-degree sexual assault and one charge of endangering the welfare of a minor.” Bail was set at $650,000, according to the paper.
Prosecutors detailed some pretty heinous charges at an Oct. 14 hearing, according to The Maui News. “The alleged sexual assaults occurred between Dec. 6, 2007, and Dec. 6, 2010, Deputy Prosecutor Annalisa Bernard said,” according to the paper’s Oct. 15 follow-up. “She said that Marten ‘engaged in sexual contact and sexual penetration both digital and penile’ on the girl, who was between the ages of 7 and 10 at the time of the alleged assaults.”
While Marten never responded to our 2016 election candidate questionnaire that we emailed to all Maui candidates earlier this year, he did talk to the Hononlulu Star-Advertiser for a Sept. 23 story on the 10th District race. Ironically, his biggest issue in the campaign is “public safety.”
“I believe legislators have failed to make public safety a priority,” Marten told the Star-Advertiser. The paper added that “Initially, Marten said, he became a candidate as a means to obtain a platform to speak about public safety issues. Over the years, he said, his platform has broadened to include an emphasis on reducing waste in the construction of schools and increasing support and salaries for teachers.”
Of course, even without the arrest, Marten faced an uphill battle in the race. He previously ran for the 10th District seat in 2014 and 2012. According to the Hawaii Office of Elections, in neither race did Marten win even 30 percent of the vote.
Chayne Marten booking photo courtesy Maui Police Department