Kihei man ‘deserves’ 20-year term — judge
WAILUKU – Calling a defendant an “egotistical manipulator,” a judge Friday ordered a 20-year prison term for a Kihei man convicted of repeatedly sexually molesting a girl during a five-year period.
“And you deserve every minute of those 20 years,” 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen told Eddie Garcia, 38.
He had pleaded no contest to continuous sexual assault of a child under age 14 from February 2005 to February 2010, as well as abuse of the child on Aug. 19, 2010.
Bissen had agreed to be bound by terms of a plea agreement in sentencing Garcia.
Prosecuting Attorney John D. Kim said Garcia began “sexualizing” the victim, a family member, when she was 10 years old. When she turned 12, he began having sexual intercourse with her weekly, with the frequency increasing to four to five times a week as the girl got older, Kim said.
“He has basically manipulated his whole family into believing he’s a good father and a provider,” Kim said.
He said Garcia has a 1998 conviction for third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.
“He’s a methamphetamine addict,” Kim said. “I think he’s just living in his own world and doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong.
“The only thing he was sorry for was getting caught in this matter.”
Before his sentencing, Garcia had unsuccessfully tried to withdraw his no-contest pleas in the case.
His attorney, Chris Dunn, said that Garcia planned to appeal the court decision to not allow him to withdraw his pleas.
The allegations to which Garcia pleaded no contest “are certainly horrendous,” Dunn said.
“However, the pride and support of his family stand in stark contrast to those allegations,” Dunn said.
Bissen said Garcia was “the most self-centered, egotistical manipulator that I have ever encountered in the last 26 years in the court system.”
“And this extends from his manipulation, clearly, of the victim, his wife, his family,” Bissen said.
He said Garcia’s attempts to manipulate the court system were well documented.
Garcia “gave a full confession to the police of the horrible crimes he committed on the victim,” Bissen said.
“The worst crime was to convince her that she is the reason you are sitting there today and that she’s the reason you are going to prison for 20 years,” the judge told Garcia. “Let it be clear, you are the reason you are going to prison today. You are the reason you can no longer provide financially for your family.
“Your family has clearly forgiven you. But forgiveness does not equal absence of guilt.”
Garcia was ordered to register as a sex offender.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.