LIHUE — The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals last week upheld the conviction of a Kauai man who has been in prison since 2003 when a jury found him guilty of molesting his girlfriend’s daughter.
Frank Gleich was sentenced in August 2003 to 20 years in prison after being convicted on a slew of felony charges stemming from a three-year period in the mid-1990s when he sexually assaulted a young girl three times each week between her 10th and 13th birthdays, according to court documents.
In a memorandum opposing Gleich’s request for early release from prison, prosecutors with the Hawaii Attorney General’s office said Gleich victimized the young woman while the child’s mother “was asleep in front of the television from consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana.”
Kauai County prosecuting attorneys painted a similarly nightmarish portrait of the home in a 2004 memo opposing Gleich’s request for a new trial, saying the Wailua house he shared with his then girlfriend was “often filthy and lacking food.”
In his 2017 appeal, Gleich argued that his attorney was to blame for failing to present the argument at trial or in the series of appeals and motions filed on his behalf in the decade following his conviction.
But the appellate judges noted that Gleich filed his most recent petition to the court “as a self-represented litigant.”
What that means, basically, is Gleich was trying to argue his appeal, in part, on the grounds that he was his own incompetent attorney, a stance the judges apparently found unconvincing.
“Gleich next appears to argue the circuit court erred by rejecting his argument that the trial court erroneously failed to instruct the jury,” the appellate judges said in the ruling. “We disagree.”
The appellate court explained the case law behind their decision before moving on to Gleich’s argument that the county prosecuting attorney that handled his case committed misconduct by coaching the complaining witness to give false testimony before a grand jury.
That point was dismissed as well because it had been raised and overruled in a previous appeal.