Molokai man gets probation for sexual assault

WAILUKU – A Molokai man was sentenced to five years’ probation Dec. 18 for sexually assaulting a girl over a four-year span.

Jayson A. Rillon, 30, was initially charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of first-degree attempted sexual assault. However, charges were reduced to third-degree offenses and the attempted assault count was dismissed in a plea agreement that spared the victim from testifying in court, according to court officials.

Rillon was given credit for serving 168 days in jail on the charges, which also includes time served for drug-related charges in a separate 2011 case.

“It has been rather overwhelming for (the victim) this past year,” Deputy Prosecutor Iwalani Mountcastle said in court. “She’s been shunned by her immediate family” and viewed as “the reason why they cannot see (Rillon).

“Mr. Rillon has broken familial ties and caused a rift that will be difficult to mend.”

The assaults began between May 1 and Sept. 1, 2001, when Rillon’s family was camping on a beach in Molokai, Mountcastle said. She said that the then-11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by Rillon while sleeping in a van near the beach.

About one or two years later, Mountcastle said that the girl was again sexually assaulted by Rillon after falling asleep at a Molokai residence.

The last incident occurred in January 2005 at the house of the girl’s aunt, Mountcastle said. She said that the girl woke up when Rillon turned on her bedroom lights at 4 a.m., saying that he wanted to watch television while waiting for a nearby gas station to open.

Rillon then proceeded to get under the covers with the girl and sexually assault her, Mountcastle said.

“Child sex assault is one of the worst crimes someone can commit on any individual,” Mountcastle said. “The defendant shows no remorse for his actions.”

Defense attorney Don Wilkerson said that Rillon has not committed crimes since the last alleged sexual assault nine years ago, and that the plea agreement was “long negotiated,” but eventually “hammered out.”

“I think he would be a good candidate for sex offender treatment” Wilkerson told the court.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen asked Wilkerson why Rillon would be a good candidate for treatment after reading letters that were submitted by Rillon to the court. Bissen said that Rillon’s letters did not show accountability, nor was there an apology to the victim.

Wilkerson replied that some candidates cannot recognize their problem until first meeting with a therapist.

When Bissen asked Rillon if he would like to say anything to the court, he thanked the judge for the opportunity of probation and said that he wanted to get back to caring for his family.

Bissen asked if that was it, and Rillon replied, “Yeah.”

Bissen acknowledged Wilkerson’s claims that the crimes Rillon had committed were not violent, but said they were “sneaky.”

“And that’s the nature of these crimes. . . . You can deny what you did in your letters all you want, because I know it’s embarrassing for you,” Bissen told Rillon. “I can understand why you deny it, but you and I both know you did this, and you’re just not man enough to admit it.”

Bissen told Rillon that he was fortunate his attorney worked hard to get him the plea agreement, which spared the victim from testifying and helped the defendant avoid a possible 20-year prison sentence.

“But you will be treated and required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life so people will know in their community what you’ve done,” Bissen said to Rillon, who shook his head. “You can shake your head, but I better not see you back here again.”

As part of his plea agreement, Rillon was ordered to have no contact with minors or the victim.

Also on Dec. 18, a Wailuku man was given 18 months in jail, after he “groomed” a 13-year-old girl for sex, a judge said.

Michael Dela Cruz, 34, also was placed on five years’ probation.

The assaults occurred between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2012, when Dela Cruz befriended his friend’s niece, according to police reports. Deputy Prosecutor Kim Whitworth said that Dela Cruz would hold the girl’s hand and tickle her when his friend fell asleep. The defendant also bought the girl a cellphone and told her he liked her, Whitworth said.

“He has not acknowledged the fact that he’s raped a child,” Whitworth said to the court, adding that Dela Cruz has a 15-year-old daughter.

Dela Cruz initially was indicted on first-degree sexual assault charges in July, when police said he was having consensual sex with an underage girl. Dela Cruz’s charge was later reduced to a second-degree sexual assault after pleading no contest in a plea agreement in September.

As part of the plea agreement, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo ordered Dela Cruz to work full time, pay to undergo sex offender treatment and have no contact with the victim or her family.

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at