LIHU’E – A man convicted of sexually assaulting a young family member was sentenced Thursday to three five-year terms which will run concurrently.
Judge Clifford L. Nakea issued the sentence in the Fifth Circuit Court.
Joseph Sidney Paiva, 61, of Kapa’a, was originally charged with 49 counts of first-degree sexual assault, 10 counts of third-degree sexual assault and eight counts of harassment on a child. He allegedly abused the child for several years.
Prosecutor Russell Goo represented the state in the case, and attorney Michael Green represented Paiva.
It took nearly two years to conclude the case. Paiva was indicted Jan. 22, 2001 and his trial date was postponed several times between April 2001 and September, 2002.
After a jury was selected for trial the defense accepted a plea offer and pleaded no contest to two counts of third-degree assault and one count of harassment.
Goo said the plea offer was arranged to prevent the victim from having to relive those experiences in front of unknown people and being identified in public.
Paiva must also pay $300 to the crime victims compensation fund. Within six months, the Hawaii Paroling Authority is scheduled to decide how much of the sentence Paiva will actually serve and at what prison.
Green remarked that sex crimes are “the worst or almost the worst that a person could commit.” Hawai’i is the only state that requires nothing more than a person saying it happened, Green said, alluding to a hidden motive on the parts of the victim and her mother for making the report six years after the offenses allegedly occurred.
Paiva, a United States Department of Agriculture inspector and state employee, has no prior record. “This type of offense is not inconsistent with your employment,” Nakea said, explaining that people of any occupation could have committed the crimes. Nakea added that a good employment record is not insignificant when considering a judgment.
Numerous personal letters were submitted to Nakea, Green and the prosecutor’s office on behalf of the victim’s family and Paiva.
Paiva said he didn’t want to be involved with his family for three months after being indicted because he wanted to allow the Kaua’i Police Department to complete its investigation. He said he took offense to letters that called him abusive and a drug addict because, Paiva said, the statements were untrue. “I tried to lead an exemplary life for my kids and I think I’ve done that,” he said.
Paiva didn’t participate in a psychosexual evaluation or make a statement for a pre-sentencing report despite the Adult Probation Division’s attempts spread over two months to contact him, Goo said. He instead related details to clients, his new girlfriend and her children, Goo added.
The only person to make a statement at Paiva’s sentencing was his ex-girlfriend, Natalie Silva, who said she started to realize something was different only as the young victim got older. “I didn’t pick up on those signs, and I’m sorry for that,” she said.
“Joe is a good man, but I know he did these things… He has a sickness that needs to be taken care of. Please put him away so he can get the treatment,” Silva said.
Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 245-3681 (ext. 252).