WAILUKU - Saying a defendant needed to think about how he hurt a victim, a judge ordered an 18-month jail term for a Kihei man convicted of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl who was a volunteer at a retirement home.
Kent Diaz, 21, was placed on five years' probation as part of his sentence Friday.
Originally facing multiple counts of first-degree sexual assault, Diaz had pleaded no contest to three reduced counts of second-degree sexual assault in the July 2012 incidents.
At the time, Diaz was working at the retirement home.
"A six-year age difference means a world of difference," 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Diaz. "You at 20 and her at 14. There's no way she was up to the level of the same mental capacity. You raped her, not only on the third-floor hallway but on the lanai, bathroom area, pool table. And all this took place at a retirement home where the victim was there out of the goodness of her heart volunteering her time.
"You were warned by other people at the retirement home to stay away from her, yet you pursued her, had sex with her. You told the police you knew she was 14 but felt it was OK because she wanted to have sex too."
Deputy Public Defender William "Pili" McGrath said that Diaz was charged with a crime because the girl was 14 and Diaz was more than five years older than her.
"In his mind and in her mind, they were having a romantic relationship," McGrath said. "On the other hand, Kent was scolded and warned he was playing with fire."
Diaz had spent more than seven months in jail before being released on supervision last month so he could spend time with family members grieving after eight close relatives were killed in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, McGrath said.
Diaz asked to be spared any additional jail. "I just want to continue to be free and to help out my family and to help my family in the Philippines," he said. "I'm really sorry for what I have done."
In an interview with a probation officer before his sentencing, Diaz said he was in trouble because the victim told, said Deputy Prosecutor Kim Whitworth.
"He repeatedly told her over and over not to tell anyone because he knew he could go to jail," Whitworth said.
She said Diaz had "groomed" the girl, asking her out and making her feel special before taking advantage of her.
"This is a case about sexually assaulting a child who doesn't have the emotional or physical capabilities of engaging in a sexual relationship," she said.
After the girl reported what happened, she received harassing and vulgar emails from Diaz's ex-girlfriend and was approached by Diaz's mother who wanted the girl to withdraw prosecution, Whitworth said. "She was scared," Whitworth said.
She said the girl has moved off island because she couldn't deal with the emotional turmoil she suffered.
Whitworth read a letter from the girl saying "I'm scared of getting hurt again. I'm scared to trust."
Whitworth said it was appropriate that Diaz serve the full 18-month jail term, which was the maximum that the prosecution could seek under terms of a plea agreement.
When he was questioned by police, Diaz said: "I knew it was wrong, but because of hormones I did it."
In ordering that Diaz be taken into custody to serve the remainder of his jail term, Loo said: "Raging hormones or not, you need to control these hormones. The best way I know how to control hormones is to lock them up in jail."
"This girl has a lifetime of trying to get over what happened to her at your hands," Loo said. "I want you to think about how you hurt this victim. You should be putting her feelings first and not your own feelings."
Diaz was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and to participate in sex offender treatment. He must register as a sex offender for life.