LIHUE — A Lihue man convicted of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s young daughter was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday.
Deputy prosecutor Keola Siu said Kyron Mitsuo Corpuz, 25, “had destroyed the victim’s life and had taken her innocence” when he continuously forced her to perform sexual acts on him between 2012 and 2016.
Fifth Circuit Court Judge Trudy Senda weighed arguments Thursday from both the state and the defense who said Corpuz should serve probation with six months in jail. She sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
“My argument was protection for the victim, for his daughters who are 1 and 3 and for other children in the community,” Keola Siu told The Garden Island. “Prison is the only place where he can get the sex offender therapy he needs. It’s not just to punish him but to give the victim time to heal without the prospect of seeing him.”
Siu said the victim, who was about 9 years old at time, considered Corpuz a father figure and the sex assaults were a breach of trust. He had also threatened her with violence, he said.
“I can see a rational basis for the court’s decision,” said Mark Zenger, defense attorney for Corpuz.
Police arrested Corpuz on March 14 after the young girl reported the assaults to school counselors, said prosecuting attorney Justin Kollar. The assaults had occurred at the family’s residence, he said.
Corpuz was originally charged with two counts of first-degree sex assault, one count of sex assault with a minor—which are class A felonies — third degree sex-assault and second-degree sex assault.
The case started in the District court of the Fifth Circuit and after Corpuz waived his right to a preliminary hearing, the state agreed to reduce one count of sex assault in the first degree to second-degree sex assault, according to court records.
On April 7, Corpuz pleaded no contest to just two of the five counts: second-degree sexual assault, a Class B felony, and third-degree sexual assault, a class C felony. The remaining counts were dismissed.
Corpuz will also have to undergo sex offender treatment until clinical discharge and register as a sex offender.
Class A felonies are punishable by 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, while second-degree sex assault is punishable by 10 years in prison and $25,000.
Corpuz does not have a criminal record, prosecutors said.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and survivors of this defendant’s crimes and we hope they are able to move forward in their lives knowing that this defendant will be in prison for a long time,” Kollar said. “Child sex assault remains a problem in our community and we will not rest in our efforts to achieve justice in these cases.”