LIHUE — A 5th Circuit judge sentenced a 17-year-old to 60 days in jail on Thursday for the sexual assault of a minor.
Christopher Sancho Keliikoa Efhan also received five years HOPE probation for forcibly sodomizing his then high school girlfriend after the two had consensual sex.
Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano said the two teenagers had initially agreed upon having sex and were in a consensual sexual relationship, but had not agreed on the manner in which the forcible action took place.
“The issue is the type of sex they were going to have,” Valenciano said to the court.
Valenciano said the court had a concern about how much jail time was appropriate for the defendant and he was unsure if the defendant’s action were part of a pattern or an isolated incident.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar read the facts of the case to the courtroom and described the events in detail that took place Dec. 11, 2014. The state believed the defendant knew exactly what he had done and he only regretted that he had to face consequences for it, he said.
“This defendant has a pattern of offenses,” Kollar said referring to a previous incident in which the defendant groped a victim on a school bus.
Defense Attorney Christopher Donohoe told the court that Efhan was “ashamed, embarrassed, and remorseful” and would carry the weight of what he did for the rest for his life.
“This incident will have a permanent effect on his friends, family and mentors,” Donahoe said.
He disagreed with Kollar’s opinion that Efhan had a pattern of offenses.
Donahoe then read reference letters as part of a report submitted to the court from Efhan’s friends, coaches and teammates, which described Efhan as “great team player” at Kauai High School and a great athlete.
During his statement to the court, Efhan began to express his remorse, but before he could, he curled over and broke into tears. Sniffles from Kauai High School administrators could be heard in the galley.
Valenciano told him to finish his statement, or the court would proceed without it.
Efhan was unable to continue and Donahoe concluded in his place.
After the judge handed down the ruling, Kollar said he believed a one year jail term would be the appropriate sentence, not 60 days.
“The fact that a person may consent to a particular form of sex does not mean they consent to anything and everything that their partner wants to force on them,” he said.
Immediately following the sentencing, friends and family left the court room.
Donahoe said he was “disappointed and upset” with the judge’s ruling because he knew his client was remorseful.
“It’s a sad tragedy all around for both teenagers and their families,” he said.
Donahoe said his client would be labeled as a sex offender for the rest of his life for a mistake he made after just turning 17.
“He’s still a teenager,” he said. “Even after 18 years, he’ll still be a teenager.”
Efhan had been out on supervised release pending sentencing.
The case had originally been a family court issue but the state prosecutor requested that Efhan be tried as an adult.
As part of the plea deal, Efhan had to agree to waive family court jurisdiction and head to circuit court.
He then pleaded no contest and was found guilty of one count of sexual assault in the second degree.