Electronic enticement suspect takes the stand - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Electronic enticement suspect takes the stand

Matthew Lewis Matthew Lewis

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Air National Guardsman accused of chatting up what he thought was a teen for sex online took the stand at his trial in his own defense on Friday. Closing arguments were heard and it's now in the jury's hands.

34-year-old Matthew Lewis is charged with electronic enticement.

In October 2008, a detective says she posed as a 14-year-old girl online and met Lewis. They then engaged in sexually explicit conversations and planned to meet.

Lewis did not deny the chat but says he's not guilty because he didn't go through with the meeting.

Instead he says he circled in his car but didn't go into the restaurant. But prosecutors say he knew what he was doing and it was all planned out.

"I wish I never did any of those things, even chatting on the Internet like that or even exposing myself on the Internet like that, just offending people, I didn't know I was offending a lot of people, I didn't know it would come out into the open this way, I feel a lack and utter of total disgust," Lewis said.

Cases like this rarely go to a jury. Often the suspects strike a plea deal.

But after the legislature created stiffer penalties for the crime, more and more cases are going this far. If convicted, Lewis faces a mandatory 10-year prison term.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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