Randall Honjo, accused of sexually molesting his two daughters in 2001, was sentenced by Fifth Circuit Court Judge Clifford Nakea Thursday, a result of accepting a plea agreement from the prosecutor’s office.
Honjo, 45, is a harbormaster for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Small Boat Harbors division.
Honjo received maximum penalties for the two charges he agreed to plead guilty to: one year imprisonment for fourth-degree sexual assault and five years for third-degree sexual assault. He was also ordered to pay $928.96 restitution and $150 to the crime victims’ compensation fund. In terms of this case, Hawai’i law states that sexual assault in the third-degree is subjecting a person less than 14 years old to sexual contact; the misdemeanor offense is knowingly forcing sexual contact.
Court records show that Honjo on Aug. 22 accepted plea agreements from the prosecutor’s office.
According to reports of the incidents, the assaults occurred in June-Aug. 2000 when the girls were 13 and 12 years old. They now live in another state with their mother, Honjo’s ex-wife, Deborah Graff. The couple also have a son who lives on Kaua’i with relatives.
“I’m pleased that the judge gave him the full amount of time that he could get, but I’m still very disappointed that he went from two Class A felony charges that would have been 20-to-life; and because of plea bargaining he ended up with a Class C felony and a misdemeanor,” Graff said.
A pre-sentence investigation stated that Honjo does not take responsibility for his actions. In Honjo’s defense, public defender James Itamura said, “It’s not enough for a person to plead guilty; it doesn’t seem to satisfy certain parties to plead guilty.”
“It was his own children he took advantage of,” said Prosecutor Jennifer Wynn, who took over sentencing for Russell Goo, who is out of town. Honjo initially put the blame on his daughters, then said it was accidental and later admitted to other acts, she said.
Judge Nakea agreed that Honjo’s maximum benefit was attained through the plea agreement process and anything less than the maximum sentence would depreciate the nature of the offense.
Honjo was originally accused of 52 counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of continuous assault on his elder daughter, and one misdemeanor sexual assault on his younger daughter.
“I’m very upset with the prosecutors office, that they didn’t contact my youngest daughter who became suicidal and was hospitalized,” Graff added.
Honjo may be eligible for parole should he finish a sex offender treatment program at either the minimum custody Kulani Correctional Facility on the Big Island or Halawa on O’ahu which could take a year or more, according to KCCC Warden Neal Wagatsuma. Wagatsuma added that Honjo’s favorable work history may prove to be a positive factor for acceptance into the “Lifetime Stand” program at KCCC, which allows some inmates to do community service projects while incarcerated and teaches them ways to turn their lives around for the better.
Also called before the Fifth Circuit Court were Trish Flores and Jeffrey Kali, who pleaded guilty to stealing from K-Mart last Sept. 6, after plea agreements with the prosecutor’s office.
They both pleaded to second-degree theft, stealing goods worth more than $300 – a felony charge with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
The two reportedly entered K-Mart’s electronics department and loaded compact discs, CD players, car stereos and cameras into the lower section of a shopping cart.
Flores reportedly pushed the cart into the garden department, where they unloaded the items near a gate and left the store. A loss prevention officer had the items under surveillance. Flores and Kali returned with Kesava Morton, and loaded the items into the car, but were stopped by the loss-prevention officer.
Morton had earlier pleaded guilty to third-degree theft, stealing goods worth more than $100. Morton was sentenced in May to 100 hours community service, $50 crime victims fee and a $500 fine. Kali and Flores will be sentenced next Jan. 30.
Cheryl Frieze, of Princeville, was sentenced to five years of probation and various fines for a pellet gun violation through an agreement with the prosecutors.
In early March, Frieze reportedly yelled, “beat it!” at two children, 6 and 8 years old, and fired at least two rounds from a pellet rifle fitted with a scope, when they were making noise and selling juice on the roadway near her house.
“I have never seen someone more remorseful, since Day One,” explained attorney Warren Perry.
“By pleading guilty to a very serious charge, you seem to appreciate the seriousness of your actions,” Nakea said.
She has to pay a $3,000 fine and $100 to the Crime Victims Compensation Commission, and must complete 200 hours of community service. And, she cannot get back her pellet gun.