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Woman sentenced to five years in prison for abuse of young son

WAILUKU — In what a deputy prosecutor called a “heartbreaking case,” a woman was sentenced Friday to a five-year prison term for assaulting her young son who years later disclosed “the very awful thing” his mother did.

Maya Blondel, 40, who was originally charged with first-degree sexual assault, had pleaded no contest to an amended charge of second-degree assault.

Attorneys said the charge better reflected what Blondel did.

“This is a heartbreaking case, as many child abuse cases are,” said Deputy Prosecutor Karen Droscoski.

She said the assault occurred in 2016 when the boy was 6 years old.

“At 6 years old, he was the epitome of innocence and vulnerability,” she said. “All he had was his mother, the only person a child should and could depend upon for comfort.”

Droscoski said the boy was forced “to learn ways to adjust to his mother’s violent rage and abuse.”

“Instead of making sure he brushed his teeth before school, she was using makeup to conceal the black eye she gave him the night before,” Droscoski said.

She said the boy gave “horrific details” of being abused “from as early as he could remember.”

It took a while before he felt comfortable talking about what he called “the very awful thing” when his mother used her fingers to penetrate him, Droscoski said. “He clearly felt ashamed, traumatized and scared to tell me,” she said.

She said he spoke softly and was emotional when he testified at a grand jury hearing that led to the indictment against Blondel last year.

The charge didn’t include the black eye the boy suffered when his mother slammed his face into a faucet, the times she “routinely put knives and scissors at his throat” and slammed his forehead into the wall, Droscoski said.

“He said he was punched and kicked all over his body,” Droscoski said. “She would throw household items at him, anything within her reach.

“He was worried she would give him a very bad injury and he would die from it.”

She said the boy suffered from sleeplessness while “anticipating the next beating.”

He found solace when his mother put him in a closed drawer for nearly six hours without food or drink, Droscoski said. He said he “liked being in the drawer because it was the only time he felt peace,” she said.

The boy had lived with eight foster families and gone to various schools, Droscoski said.

He disclosed “the awful thing that did happen to him” to a foster parent who is a police officer, said Detective Oran Satterfield, who was assigned to investigate the case in 2019. He said it took four months before the boy provided the detective with the details.

“He does not want to ever see his mother again,” Satterfield said at the sentencing hearing Friday. “The abuse he went through, from a young child, is horrific. He needs a loving home.”

The boy wants to go to live with a relative on the Mainland, Satterfield said.

“I pray for Ms. Blondel,” he said. “I hope she can change. But at the same time, (her son) shouldn’t have any contact with her.”

In asking the court to impose the prison sentence, Droscoski said Blondel caused her son “serious trauma that will last his lifetime.”

Blondel is serving a one-year jail term as part of four years’ probation for second-degree assault of a stranger in Lahaina. She also has convictions for abusing her boyfriend and for harassment in 2018, Droscoski said.

She said Blondel had been arrested for abuse, second- and third-degree assault, first- and second-degree terroristic threatening, harassment, disorderly conduct, disobedience to police and obstructing government operations.

“She cannot control herself and her rage is directed at anyone in her path,” Droscoski said. “She has a history of violence and her victims include her child, her partners and random people on the street. She is absolutely a danger to the community and those she is close to.”

Defense attorney Cary Virtue asked the court to consider probation for Blondel, who has spent more than eight months in jail.

Her parental rights were being terminated, Virtue said. He said Blondel is from Paris and could face deportation.

“She sincerely regrets what happened,” he said. “She realizes she needs therapy, help and counseling.”

Speaking in court, Blondel said she was “overwhelmed.”

“I love my son,” she said. “I want the best for him.”

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen said Blondel had been placed on probation in 2017, 2019 and last year, receiving a “fair” rating.

“She managed to make her appointments, although it sounds like the probation officers dreaded those appointments because she was so argumentative and defensive or aggressive,” Bissen said.

He said he wasn’t considering her arrest history in sentencing her.

“She has plenty of convictions on her record that point to how she reacts to situations,” Bissen said. “If she disagrees with you, she responds in a violent way. And unfortunately, that has been directed towards her minor son.”

In a letter to the court, the boy continued to say that he loves his mother, Bissen said.

“He doesn’t like what she did to him,” Bissen said. “He forgives his mom, proving he’s more like the adult in the relationship.”

The judge said that he was imposing the maximum five-year prison sentence for the assault charge, “so it’s the most I can do.”

“But on your son’s behalf, it’s the least I can do,” he told Blondel. “I hope you learn from this.”

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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