Judge denies University of Hawaii sex offender's request for deferral

Scott Wandersee appears in court
Scott Wandersee appears in court

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu judge on Wednesday denied an Alaska man's request for a deferral in a burglary and sex assault case at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Instead, Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario ordered state deputy sheriffs to take Scott Wandersee into custody. The 19-year-old was sentenced to four months in jail and five years probation for one count of first-degree burglary and two counts of fourth-degree sex assault.

"Granting of the deferral would diminish the seriousness of the offense," Darrell Wong, deputy prosecutor, argued during sentencing.

Prosecutors say Wandersee obtained a 17-year-old girl's dorm key, used it to enter her room, and fondled her as she repeatedly asked him to leave. The defendant pleaded no contest in August.

"I'm extremely remorseful," the convicted sex offender told the judge. "I realize I made a mistake and it's never going to happen again."

Both sides say Wandersee, who had arrived from Alaska two weeks before the incident, was intoxicated at the time.

"He drank upwards of 10 shots of liquor," Scot Brower, defense attorney, said. "In his intoxicated state, he somehow had the impression that he was going to start a relationship."

Brower argued that his client, who was 18 at the time, should be given a chance to keep the convictions off his record.

"He has the capability of making something of himself," he said.

But the judge disagreed, saying "some jail is necessary." He cited a prior incident in which Wandersee assaulted a police officer.

"When he does drink, he gets out of hand," Del Rosario said. "It has escalated from a physical assault of a police officer to a sexual assault of an innocent person."

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