Guilty verdict in sex offender case

LIHUE — A Fifth Circuit jury found a 67-year-old Lihue man guilty Thursday for failing to register as a sex offender after repeated suggestions from multiple parties.

The jury found Rogelio Lahip Ganotisi guilty on three counts of failure to comply with covered offender registration requirements following a four-day jury trial and less than two hours of deliberations.

Each count is punishable by five years of incarceration.

Testimony revealed that the defendant was released from state custody on February 22, 2013, after serving a 20-year prison sentence for three counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of terroristic threatening in the first degree and family abuse. Because of the sexual assault and kidnapping convictions, Ganotisi was required to register as a sex offender.

The defendant had been advised by numerous individuals that he needed to register, including the corrections supervisor at Kauai Community Correctional Center, an investigator from the Prosecutor’s Office, and a detective from the Kauai Police Department.

Despite this, the defendant refused to register, claiming he was innocent of the sex offense.

The defendant testified and claimed that he could not register because he was not guilty. A defense of mental disease, disorder or defect was presented and two psychologists and a psychiatrist testified.

The Kauai Police Department, Department of Public Safety, and the Department of the Attorney General’s Sex Offender Registration Unit led the investigation in this case.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 17. Ganotisi faces up to 30 years in prison.

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