HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An adult corrections officer on Thursday tearfully expressed remorse for abusing his authority and sexually assaulting a male inmate, who was living as a woman, at the Oahu Community Correctional Center two years ago.
Ryan Malasig, 44, was once tasked with guarding prisoners. At his sentencing, he did his best to avoid becoming one.
"It was a bad decision on my part," he said. "All I need to let you guys know is I'm deeply sorry for what had happened."
But prosecutors didn't buy it. They say Malasig had not taken responsibility whatsoever prior to sentencing, and asked a judge to impose a 10-year prison term, the maximum punishment for second-degree sex assault.
"If anything, he's remorseful about the fact that he's now found himself in a position of possibly facing 10 years," Leilani Young, deputy prosecutor, said. "Now the tears come. Now the 'I'm sorry' comes."
Prosecutors say the 33-year-old victim was on kitchen duty at OCCC, when the guard entered the module -- even though he was assigned to a different part of the facility -- and had the prisoner perform oral sex on him. The inmate kept a shirt that had Malasig's DNA on it and later turned it into authorities.
"You went above the law and violated your promise, your oath to protect and serve," the victim said in a letter that was read during the hearing. "You only thought of your own sexual desires. I hope you become an example to other corrections officers who might try to abuse their power."
The defense argued for a sentence of probation with no incarceration.
"He's led a completely law-abiding life," Craig Nagamine, deputy public defender, said. "He's never had contacts with the law. He's worked his entire life. He's a family man. He has children."
Circuit Judge Richard Pollack handed down an 18-month jail term and ordered state sheriffs to take the former corrections officer into custody immediately.
"Mr. Malasig, you took gross advantage of your position to commit the criminal conduct in this case on a very person that you were required to oversee and, in one sense, protect," the judge said.
The defendant pleaded no contest to the charge. He must register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life.