Man gets year in jail for abuse

WAILUKU – A 46-year-old man is serving a one-year jail term for sexually abusing a boy in what the child’s mother called her “worst nightmare come true.”

The jail term was the longest that could be imposed for Benigno Pastrana, who had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of fourth-degree sexual assault in the case.

The sexual abuse in January 2012 occurred after the boy’s family had helped Pastrana, according to a letter by the child’s mother.

“As a survivor of sexual abuse, this is my worst nightmare come true,” the mother said in the letter read in court by First Deputy Prosecutor Robert Rivera.

“The same man we trusted defiled my son,” she wrote.

“I cried every night for justice for my son. Then I saw God answer my prayers.”

The mother’s letter referred to seeing her son demonstrate his faith and commitment in church.

Addressing Pastrana in a portion of her letter, she said, “Evil doesn’t win. What you do in darkness, God will bring to light. I forgive you and will continue to pray for you.”

During his sentencing Feb. 13, Pastrana said he was sorry.

But Rivera said, “I don’t see any remorse on his part.”

After friends had petitioned for Pastrana to enter the country, “he’s done nothing,” Rivera said. “He’s not worked. He’s been homeless.”

“This is not the first time a 5-year-old child had the courage to disclose to his parents about an evil that an adult has committed on this child,” Rivera said. “I’m hoping that this will serve as an example to other kids who have been harmed that they can come forward.”

Pastrana is required to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years, said Deputy Public Defender Jim Rouse. He asked that Pastrana be placed on probation and released after already spending about six months in jail.

In ordering the one-year jail term, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen said “the maximum penalty is hardly a reflection of what is deserving.”

He said the mother’s letter was powerful, in part because of “the level of forgiveness that comes through.”

Rivera said the family could seek a lifetime restraining order against Pastrana in a separate civil proceeding.

“The best I can do is separate him from the family for the year he’s in jail,” Bissen said.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at