Man who broke into women’s homes sentenced to 10 years in prison
WAILUKU — A young man who committed “horrendous” offenses that involved breaking into the homes of two women and committing sex crimes was sentenced to 10 years in prison on multiple charges.
Norston Mike, 24, was sentenced Wednesday on charges of first-degree burglary and third-degree sexual assault in one case, along with first-degree criminal trespass in another case, according to court records.
He pleaded guilty to the charges in the two cases in February in accordance with a plea agreement.
“I can’t think of a more terrifying circumstance than having someone wake you up in the middle of the night while you are sleeping with your child and your mother and be sexually assaulted in your own home,” said 2nd Circuit Court Judge Kirstin Hamman. “If you’re not safe in your own home, then where can you be safe?”
Deputy Prosecutor J.W. Hupp said that Mike’s actions show “a pattern of behavior” for which a prison sentence is appropriate.
“In both instances, interestingly, it involves a woman whose house he invaded and went into. It also involves a friend or a neighbor or someone he knows,” Hupp said. “Both cases involved women who had small children in the house.”
On Dec. 7, 2019, Mike was living in an apartment on Lanai when he went through a window and into the bed of an acquaintance living in a nearby unit at the same complex.
Because the unit is so small, the victim was sharing the bed with her 4-year-old son and mother when Mike sexually assaulted her, Hupp said.
In the middle of the night, the victim’s mother woke up and realized someone was in the room.
Mike fled the apartment when the victim screamed and was recognized as “the neighbor” to the victim and family, Hupp said. Mike returned to the scene and was arrested by police.
During the second incident on April 27, 2020, about four to five months later, Mike was living in Happy Valley on Maui. He was drinking beers in a garage with some friends, Hupp said.
A woman who was part of the group went home. Her young son was in the house.
“She was taking a shower, she heard a noise, and asked her son if somebody was in the house. Her son said a man in a red shirt came into the house,” Hupp said. “Then she came out of the shower and realized the defendant was standing right outside the bathroom.”
Mike, who already had a warrant out for his arrest for the previous incident, fled the scene and was detained by members of the community who heard the commotion, Hupp said. He was later arrested by police.
Deputy Public Defender Heather Wolfenbarger argued that Mike was much younger at the time of his crimes and has already spent the last two years in custody, which is a “good chunk of time.”
“I think he used the time to his advantage to think about where he wants to go in life and what he wants to do,” Wolfenbarger said.
She argued that he deserves a shorter sentence, rehabilitation and probation after showing “a willingness to change” through the pre-sentence investigations, having family support on Lanai and knowing the severe consequences if he’s not in compliance with his probation.
However, Hamman ruled that Mike’s ongoing conduct is a “real danger to the community” and the court needs to uphold and respect the law by providing necessary punishment for the offense.
For the two incidents, Mike must serve 10 years in prison for first-degree burglary, five years for third-degree sexual assault as well as one year for criminal trespassing. The terms are to be served concurrently. He must also pay the victims compensation fees and other court fines.
“It’s shocking, I still can’t wrap my mind around what you did and how you would come to do that. It’s horrendous,” Hamman said to Mike. “I do recognize that you are young and I don’t know what happened or why you’re conducting these offenses, but there’s definitely something wrong and I am concerned about the pattern.”
* Dakota Grossman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.