HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Nanakuli businessman convicted of molesting a teenaged employee was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday.
Henry Moisa was the victim's boss at a portable toilet rental company. Prosecutors say he gave the boy money for sexual acts.
It took two trials for Moisa to be found guilty of first-degree sexual assault, which carries a penalty of 20 years in prison. But prosecutors on Wednesday sought a stiffer punishment.
On his mother's 87th birthday, convicted sex offender Henry Moisa faced a judge for sentencing.
"This was egregious conduct spanning a long period of time," Adrian Dhakhwa, deputy prosecutor, said. "It was more than one incident. It involved the abuse of a position of trust, the employer-employee relationship."
A boy testified in May that his boss began sexually assaulting him when he was 14 years old. The teen was hired to clean porta potties. He says Moisa paid him $1.25 for each toilet he cleaned, and $5 for each time the boy received oral sex.
"Basically, this is a statutory rape crime as opposed to a violent threat, somebody who's been drugged or beaten and physically assaulted," Daphne Barbee, defense attorney, said.
Prosecutors requested back-to-back prison terms totaling 40 years. But the defense argued that the 58-year-old had no prior criminal record, and has health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure and back pain.
"Your illnesses did not keep you from doing what you did," the victim's mother said at the sentencing. "Seeing you pay for your exploitation of others will make it just a little bit more safer on the streets."
When given a chance to speak, Moisa, who maintains his innocence, declined.
"No, your honor, just that my attorney will appeal," the convicted sex offender said.
"Alright, that's fine," Glenn Kim, Circuit judge, said.
The judge rejected the motion for consecutive sentencing and, instead, handed down a 20-year term.
The defense then asked that Moisa be allowed to remain free on bail pending the outcome of his appeal. But the judge ordered him into custody immediately.
"Based on the fact that he's been convicted of three counts of sex assault (in the first degree) on a minor, I can not find that he's not likely to pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community."
Barbee suggested that the boy may have had a financial motive to bring up the allegations. But the judge told her sentencing was not the appropriate time for that argument.
The Hawaii parole board will decide how much of the 20-year term Moisa must serve before he can be considered for release.