LIHU‘E — A Kaua‘i County judge has delivered the maximum penalty to a registered sex offender arrested June 7 for sexually assaulting a tourist.
Earnest Roy Moniz Jr., 42, of Puhi, was found guilty on Wednesday of second-degree sexual assault and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
This is wasn’t the first conviction for Moniz. In 1995 he was convicted of sexually assaulting minors on Kaua‘i, and served 10 years imprisonment, according to a county press release.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Arin asked 5th Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe to impose the 10-year maximum term based upon the seriousness of the offense and Moniz’s criminal history, the release states.
Watanabe granted the state’s request and ordered Moniz to begin serving the sentence immediately.
Moniz was arrested for sexually assaulting a visitor in a Lihu‘e hotel during the early hours of June 7. After meeting the victim at Kukui Grove Shopping Center, Moniz offered the victim a ride back to the victim’s hotel room. Upon arriving at the hotel, Moniz forced the victim to perform various sex acts. The victim later managed to escape and reported the assault to the Kaua‘i Police Department, the release states.
“Vigorously prosecuting sex offenses is one of our office’s top priorities,” County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho said in the release. “Because of our team’s experience and expertise in handling these sensitive cases, we were able to secure a conviction in record time.”
Attorney Craig De Costa said Moniz on Wednesday pleaded no contest to the sexual assault charges.
When the 5th Circuit Court convicted Moniz in 1995, he also pleaded no contest, this time to two counts of third-degree sexual assault, according to the state’s sex offender registry. His original charges in that case also included first-degree attempted sexual assault and four counts of promoting an intoxicating liquor to a minor.
• Vanessa Van Voorhis, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or by emailing email@example.com.