Internet child predator avoids lengthy prison term - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Internet child predator avoids lengthy prison term

Thalia Murphy Thalia Murphy
Myles Breiner Myles Breiner
Matthew Cargill Matthew Cargill
Judge Karen Ahn Judge Karen Ahn

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A teenaged girl, who was sexually assaulted by a man she met on the Internet, says she continues to suffer physically and emotionally. The victim asked for the maximum punishment at the child predator's sentencing Monday.

A clean-cut Matthew Cargill pays close attention, as a teen talks about the devastating effect he had on her.

"I would like justice to be served," the sex assault victim said. "I don't think anybody should be able to go through what I went through."

Prosecutors say Cargill, who was 29, went on myspace.com and pretended to be a teenaged boy. He arranged to meet with the then-15-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her in his car.

Her mother says the victim now has difficulty establishing relationships and is hurting herself physically.

"Attempted suicide, slicing, and just watch her live and suffer these past three years," the sex assault victim's mother said. "How could you have done something so terrible?"

Prosecutors call Cargill a sexual predator who has prior convictions for indecent exposure, harassment by stalking, and open lewdness.

"He's a danger to the children of this community," Thalia Murphy, deputy prosecutor, said. "And he's a time bomb waiting to happen as evidence by his criminal record."

But the defense argues against a 10-year prison term, saying Cargill has since undergone sex offender treatment and is a different person.

"They recognize that Matt has problems and Matt needs to deal with those problems," Myles Breiner, defense attorney, said. "But it does not warrant 10 years."

"There's no way I can give you guys back what was taken, except to stand here and apologize and take responsibility," the convicted sex offender said.

Saying she wants to give him a chance, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn sentences him to a year in jail and five years probation.

The offense of electronic enticement of a child now carries a mandatory 10-year prison term under a new Hawaii law. That means if Cargill committed the same crime today, probation wouldn't be an option.

"The Internet's obviously a great tool, but one very open to abuse," Ahn said. "And this is a case in which the defendant abused people, some too young to make prudent choices."

Cargill must also pay nearly $2,500 in restitution and register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life.

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