LIHUE — A former Kauai Police Department officer who was convicted of harassment by stalking and the use of a computer in the commission of a separate crime was sentenced to five years of probation and community service in Fifth Circuit Court Thursday.
According to reports, for about three weeks between March and April 2017, Damian Loo, who was assigned to the police cellblock, used video surveillance equipment to monitor a female employee as she came to work.
Standing before Chief Judge Randall Valenciano, Loo apologized for his actions, stating that he did not intend to hurt anyone.
“It is not in my nature to do so. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” he said.
The last 16 months have been a challenging and humbling experience, Loo said.
“I am grateful that the situation has strengthened my faith in God and has brought my family closer together in support of me,” he said.
The victim did not speak at the sentencing.
On behalf of his client, Loo’s attorney Thomas Otake asked the court to sentence his client to probation with no jail time.
“When it comes to Mr. Loo, he really has a very positive history, and that is indicated not only through his employment through the years in his service to the country in the military, he’s served overseas in war situations and then dedicated his career to serve his community here at KPD,” Otake said.
Instead of sitting around after the case happened, Otake said his client sought new employment and is serving the community by assisting individuals who suffer from mental-health issues.
Referencing letters of support for his client, Otake said they speak a lot about the kind of man Loo is.
“We think that they support the sentence we’re asking for, probation without prison time,” he said.
Because the circumstances of the offenses didn’t involve violence, that also supports probation instead of jail time, Otake said.
“Obviously, your honor, courts need to consider punishment in cases, and what I would like to argue to the court there has been really significant punishment for Mr. Loo to date,” he said.
That punishment is the loss of his career, any future career associated with his law enforcement and military experience, and his retirement benefits.
“That’s all gone. That’s all gone, so he has been punished significantly for his actions in this case. Additional jail time is not necessary,” Otake said.
Though Loo made mistakes, Otake told the judge he is a good man and his actions will serve as a deterrent for other KPD officers for this type of behavior.
On behalf of the state, Deputy Attorney General Michelle Pu‘u stated bringing charges up in this case was her decision.
“I think we should point out that there was a lot of discussion in the trial about why this case was actually charged. There was no pressure on the part of the police department encouraging the Attorney General’s office to prosecute this case,” said Pu‘u.
Pu‘u agreed that probation was the correct sentence for Loo.
“Looking at this particular defendant I’m not blind to the fact that he has had prior service in the military, served as a police officer, clearly is a family-oriented individual,” she said. “He has no prior criminal history.”
Stating he knew Loo from the profession, Valenciano agreed with the attorneys, sentencing him to one year of probation on the harassment by stalking conviction and four years probation for using a computer to commit a separate crime.
The case was prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s office after Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar declined to press charges.
Bethany Freudenthal, crime, courts and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.