WAILUKU - A 63-year-old man who pleaded no contest to reduced charges of sexually assaulting a girl tried to maintain his innocence even as he was being sentenced Thursday to 18 months in jail and five years' probation for the crime that occurred over a five-year period.
"I'm shocked that these things took place," Stanley Pacheco said during sentencing. "No way in the world I would do such a thing.
"I love kids. I work(ed) around kids," Pacheco told 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen.
But Bissen told Pacheco that the court believed that Pacheco was responsible for the harm done to the child.
During Pacheco's hearing, Bissen noted that in a letter to the court, Pacheco said that "only God knows the truth."
In the letter, Bissen added that Pacheco also offered words to the victim, saying "I want you to know everything that happened to you is not your fault, you are a good girl."
In addition to jail and probation, Bissen also ordered Pacheco to participate in the Hawaii Sex Offender Program, as well as comply with other conditions including staying away from the victim and her family, having no contact with minors and not to hitchhike or pick up any hitchhikers.
Deputy Prosecutor Iwalani Mountcastle said the prosecution agreed to an 18-month jail term and five years' probation to spare the "revictimizing" of the girl.
Mountcastle said that in the victim's letter, the girl said Pacheco sexually assaulted her many times.
She added that Pacheco used money, candy and treats to commit his crimes.
"No child shall have to endure these types of actions by the defendant," Mountcastle said.
She added that the victim said in her letter that she "lost a big part of my childhood" because of Pacheco's actions.
"When I see people who look like him, I get nervous and scared," Mountcastle read from the victim's letter.
Pacheco, originally from Maui, was arrested on an Indian reservation in New Mexico and extradited back to Maui earlier this year to face the charges.
He had faced 11 counts of felony sexual assault of the girl, who is a relative, beginning in 2004, when she was 4 years old and continuing to 2009.
A first-degree sex assault charge was dismissed by Bissen at an earlier hearing after defense attorney Jon Apo said that the defense hadn't been provided evidence of the count.
In July, a jury was selected for the case, and the girl's mother had begun testifying when a plea agreement was reached to resolve the case.
Pacheco pleaded no contest to two reduced counts of second-degree sexual assault, two reduced counts of attempted second-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault. The prosecution dismissed five other charges of third-degree sexual assault.
A case is pending against Pacheco's son, Chad "Kama" Kukona-Pacheco, 25, of Kahului, who is charged with sexually assaulting the same girl.
In an unrelated case, a 33-year-old man who tired to rob a pharmacy but couldn't because the employee couldn't read his demand letter, was sentenced to 18 months in jail and five years' probation.
Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza ordered Damien Black to have no contact with the employee involved as well as stay away from Longs Pharmacy on Main Street in Wailuku.
Cardoza said Black tried to pass a note to an employee which read: "Empty the cash drawer or get poked."
At the time, Black displayed a screwdriver, Cardoza said.
Police said previously that, because of poor penmanship, the employee was unable to read the note. The suspect became frustrated and ran off, police said.
"I feel really bad about what happened," Black said during sentencing. "I don't normally behave that way."
Deputy Public Defender Adriel Menor added that Black has suffered from mental health issues from his adolescence.
Black pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree attempted robbery. The charge stems from the incident on April 18.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.