- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A jury has convicted a Hawaii conservation and resources enforcement officer of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle West says the jury found Ethan Ferguson guilty Wednesday of five counts of sex assault.

Prosecutors say Ferguson sexually assaulted the teen on a Hilo beach on Jan. 1, 2016.

West says jurors deliberated for less than three hours.

She says the victim and her family were in court for the verdict and are pleased with the outcome.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 24.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman Dan Dennison says a decision will be made on Ferguson’s job status after his conviction record is received and reviewed.

Dennison says the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement has improved how it vets new hires.

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